States seek a spot in retirement plan landscape

MGN Online

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Lawmakers in several states are looking at ways to provide pensions to private-sector workers.

Elected officials are responding to a widespread loss of private-sector pensions, a lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts in smaller businesses and stagnant incomes that make it hard for workers to contribute to their retirement plans or company account.

The general aim of the measures is to establish a retirement fund in a state agency that would collect employee contributions, invest the money and pay benefits upon retirement.

Financial services businesses are lobbying to defeat the proposals, calling the idea of state-run enterprises unnecessary and a threat to private business. Opponents claimed one victory this year, knocking off a public retirement system proposed in West Virginia. Others in Maine, Indiana and Washington died in chambers.

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