retirement program

State Launches Retirement Program for Private Sector

An estimated 600,000 Connecticut residents have no access to a retirement program from their employers, but that could change starting April 1 with a new program called

“Start early setting it aside like an automatic program like this over 30 years with five, six, seven percent appreciation that compounds you’ll have a pretty good nest egg to go alongside your Social Security,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.

Lamont, a former cable executive, said this program will help small employers compete.

“It’s very self-explanatory. It's very easy for the employers to get the information out to employees to register and employees to opt-out if they choose to do so,” State Comptroller Natalie Braswell said.

Braswell said next month, letters will go out to 30,000 businesses to let them know about this program.

“There’s no cost to taxpayers for this program. It’s self-sufficient,” Braswell said.

Employers with five or more employees who don’t currently offer retirement benefits will be automatically enrolled.

“The mandatory contribution rate is 3%, the individuals in the pilot program contributed at a rate of 3.41%,” Braswell said.

Employees get a choice of eight different plans.

Axel Collazo of Connecticut Medical Dispatch has 22 employees and participated in the pilot program.

“Sometimes, there’s folks who work in small businesses who don’t have that ability. They are very happy,” Collazo said.

Collazo said the program has been well-received by his staff.

“They’re excited because now they have something to look forward to when their time comes to retire,” he added. 

However, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said this is the last thing smaller employers need at the moment.

“I’m not only concerned that our state’s economic recovery will be hampered by the combined impact of these issues and other anti-employer concepts under consideration, but that workers can’t afford to have three percent deducted from their paychecks as they struggle with inflation affecting food and other household items,” Candelora said. “The launch of this program today is simply out of step with on-the-ground realities faced right now for businesses and their employees."

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