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Colorado Set to Join Auto-IRA Parade

A measure that would create a board to study appropriate approaches to increase retirement savings by private-sector workers in Colorado reached the desk of Gov. Jared Polis (D) on May 13 and awaits his signature.

Senate Bill 19-173 calls for the creation of a Colorado Secure Savings Plan Board that would study the feasibility of creating a Colorado Secure Savings Plan to increase retirement saving by private-sector workers in Colorado. The Board would operate under the aegis of the Office of the State Treasurer.

The chambers wasted little time in considering the measure. On March 1, it was introduced in the state Senate, which approved it on April 22; on that day it was introduced in the state House of Representatives, which passed it just one week later. Senate Majority Whip Kerry Donovan (D-Gunnison) and Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Jefferson) sponsored the bill in the Senate; Reps. Chris Hansen (D-Denver) and Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Jefferson) did so in the House.

The board is required to conduct four analyses or assessments:

  1. A detailed market and financial analysis to determine the financial feasibility and effectiveness of creating a retirement savings plan in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA, to be known as the Colorado Secure Savings Plan. The plan would be designed to promote greater retirement savings for private-sector employees in a low-cost and portable manner.
  2. A detailed market and financial analysis to determine the financial feasibility and effectiveness of a small business marketplace plan to increase the number of Colorado businesses that offer retirement savings plans for their employees. The marketplace plan would be voluntary for both employers and employees, open to all employees and employers with fewer than 100 employees, and administered by the Department of Labor and Employment. The bill specifies certain duties of the Department of Labor and Employment in connection with the marketplace plan if it is implemented.
  3. An analysis of the effects that greater financial education among Colorado residents would have on increasing their retirement savings; and
  4. An analysis of the effects that not increasing Coloradans' retirement savings would have on current and future state and local government expenditures.

If, after conducting the analyses, the board finds that there are approaches to increasing retirement savings for private sector employees in a convenient, low-cost and portable manner that are financially feasible and self-sustaining, the board is required to recommend a plan to implement its findings to the governor and the General Assembly by Feb. 28, 2020.