Today Trenton-based AARP New Jersey along with Assemblyman Roy Freiman, (D-16), the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ, Salvation and Social Justice, NJ Foundation for Aging, and Main Street Alliance, announced the results of new poll (of New Jersey voters ages 18-64) that revealed a sizable number of New Jerseyans are very concerned about financially surviving in their retirement years. An even larger percentage support legislation that would provide for a public-private retirement savings option.
At the Tele-Press Conference, held on November 28, the business, faith-based and community coalition, called for the passage of “NJ Secure Choice Savings Program Act” (S2891/A4134), to provide financial security in retirement to New Jersey workers. The Senate Labor Committee will be holding a vote on this bill on Monday, December 3rd. Over 50 AARP New Jersey volunteers will go to the hearing to call for passage of the legislation.
“New Jerseyans are working as hard ever, but every year fewer and fewer of them have a way to save for retirement,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, in a statement announcing the poll results.
“Secure Choice can help address this problem, and these survey results demonstrate that an overwhelming majority of New Jerseyans support it. The message is clear: Our residents want a solution to the retirement savings problem, and Secure Choice is the answer,” he says.
The survey findings indicated that 80 percent of respondents do not feel financially prepared for retirement. Seventy two percent say they are “anxious about not having enough money for retirement.”
When asking the survey respondents about their saving for retirement, a whopping 88 percent say that they wished they had saved more. Meanwhile, eight-two percent expressed concerns about their standard of living in retirement with the expected increases in the costs of living.
New Jersey Voters Give Their Two Cents
When asked about legislative fixes, eighty-seven agree that New Jersey lawmakers should support a private-public retirement savings program option. Eighty five percent of these respondents say the would take advantage of a workplace savings option if it were available.
“The NJ Secure Choice Savings Program Act, (A4134/S2891) is a sensible solution to helping to alleviate the problem facing 1.7 million workers here in our state,” said Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16), sponsor of the Assembly version of the bill. “This legislation gives employees access to their own accounts that are portable, with contributions made automatically through payroll deductions. Research has shown that people are more likely to save when they have a program at work, and even more likely when their contributions are automatic. And this polling supports that this is the kind of program that New Jersey voters want,” he says.
AARP New Jersey calls for passage of the NJ Secure Choice Savings Program Act. The bipartisan legislation would create a state sponsored retirement savings program for private sector workers. Freiman’s legislation would provide an essential tool for small businesses by providing a retirement program for Garden State employers who don’t currently offer a retirement savings option for their employees. This legislative proposal creates an easy, voluntary way for workers to save directly from their paychecks. The professionally managed program gives private sector employees of all ages in New Jersey the opportunity to grow their savings so they can take control of their future.
Giving Financial Security to New Jersey Retirees
AARP’s India Larrier says, “The NJ Secure Choice Saving Program Act is a commonsense way for nearly 2 million private sector New Jersey workers, who currently do not have access to a workplace savings plan, to save for retirement. This retirement savings opportunity makes New Jersey businesses more competitive and gives employees an easier way to save for retirement on their own terms as they may move from job to job. This legislation is a turning point in providing financial security in retirement not only for today’s workers but also for future generations of New Jersey workers.”
Adds, Melissa Chalker, executive director for the NJ Foundation for Aging. “The results of this poll speak to the anxiety that so many have regarding their financial security in retirement. Without the ability to save many New Jerseyans face retiring into poverty. These results show how important it is to give an opportunity for a more secure retirement for future retirees.”
Gladys Williams, a New Jersey resident and worker also gave the thumbs up to Freiman’s legislative proposal that at the Tele-Press Conference. “As someone who did not have access to a retirement savings program at my job when I was younger, I know the dangers of facing retirement without one. It would have been much easier for me to adequately prepare for my retirement years if I had only had the benefit of a program like Secure Choice,” she says.
Also attending, Rajpal Bath from the Main Street Alliance stated, “Small business owners already know that the ability to offer retirement savings program to their employees makes them more competitive. The results of this poll confirm that nearly two-thirds of voters indicate that they would think more positively of local small businesses that offer a retirement savings option to their employees.”