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Legislation creating retirement savings plan for DE residents gets AARP backing

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

AARP Delaware and State Treasurer Colleen Davis are backing legislation to create a low-cost retirement savings plan for Delawareans.

If passed, the plan known as Delaware Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Savings or DE EARNS would provide workers and employers access to low-cost retirement savings plans.

It’s a state-facilitated, universally available retirement savings plan that would provide a way for all workers to save for retirement.

The program is designed for middle and low-income workers who lack access to employer-sponsored plans.

State Treasurer Colleen Davis says this program was devised after seeing that half of Delaware workers are not saving for their future through a 401k-type plan.

"We really wanted to help those low to low moderate income households to establish this type of retirement savings not only for the next pandemic, but really and truly for their retirement years down the road so that they can retire securely and with dignity," said Davis.

But AARP Financial Ambassador Jean Chatzky says the program helps businesses, too.

"This program happens at no cost to the employer,” said Chatzky. “So small business owners who are worried that this will be a burden on them really don't have to worry at all."

Davis notes this program is also a recruitment tool as it can be offered by any small business as a benefit even when they’re not able to offer a robust benefits package.

A bill to create the program passed the House last month. It cleared the Senate Labor Committee Tuesday, but faces a Senate Finance Committee hearing before heading to the Senate floor.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.