Retirement Coalition's Call Being Heard

A new statewide coalition pushing for a Connecticut public retirement plan has, bringing together groups representing retirees, public and private sector workers, small business owners and women seeking the passage of state legislation that would create a public retirement otion.

“I’m one of the lucky ones with a secure retirement – but being able to retire shouldn’t be about luck, ” said Bill Tyszka of the Council 4 retiree chapter. “If our elected officials create a Public Retirement Plan, we can take the gambling and the risk out of the system.”

Approximately 740,000 Connecticut residents are not participating in an employer- provided retirement plan, according to a Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) study released last year.

A public retirement option would provide employers and workers with a low-risk alternative to plans offered by the insurance industry, and would not require the employer to become a fiduciary or take on any liability.

“Like thousands of Connecticut workers, the recession hit me hard. I lost my job, and not long after that I was diagnosed with cancer, which wiped out my savings,” said Dorry Clay, a self-employed web designer from Stonington. “I shouldn’t have to work until I am 70 or older because I can’t afford to retire. That is why I’m supporting this plan to establish a ‘retirement for all’ savings plan.”

Retirement for All CT is a coalition working to provide all Connecticut residents with access to a stable retirement plan at work, through passage of the Retirement for All bill. The bill was previously introduced by Senator Looney in the 2013 session and passed by the Joint Committee on Labor & Public Employees.

The bill will be introduced again for public hearing in March 2014.