Nearly 600,000 residents in our state lack access to a workplace-based retirement savings program, and it’s sad to say, but some of those folks work at my bike shop.

I would love to provide retirement savings options to my staff, after all, I’d like to keep them on board with me until they are ready to retire. However, my time and resources are limited, as most small business owners are, and I just don’t have the capacity to research and manage a plan that would best fit the needs of my employees.

I know employees of my shop and the other shops on Main Street deserve access to a plan that helps them save for their retirement. After all, the size of the company you work for should not be a factor in determining whether or not you can retire when the time comes.

Navigating the retirement savings market is confusing and time-consuming, and many of us struggle to find an option that will work for our team. Even if we were to find the right policy on our own, we would need to dedicate additional staff time to manage the plan.

Businesses like mine run the risk of losing our team members to larger employers who can dedicate staff to navigate the complicated retirement system and administer the benefits. For me to retain my best employees, it is imperative that I find an option for them that bestows the financial security they could find at a large corporation.

The Connecticut Retirement Security Board’s plan provides me with that option.

For me, the legislation introduced by the Board is a dream come true. Their bill would create an opportunity for businesses like mine to reduces our administrative cost and legal burden while making it possible for us to address our employees concerns regarding their options for retirement without breaking the bank.

The policy proposal is a well researched one, and while forming it, the Board took input from both employees and the financial sector into consideration. They have studied the efficacy of their retirement plan and found that it is financially feasible for a range of market scenarios and that it will work for private-sector employers like me.

Businesses that are currently offering a retirement plan need not worry, as they would be unaffected by the legislation, and their staff member’s policies would remain the same. For shops like mine, though, it would be a game changer.

To keep my business running I need to keep my staff on board, and to do that; I need to put them in a position to retire from my shop. The Retirement Security plan is the only way that I will obtain the necessary administrative support to provide my employees with the resources they need to save for their retirement. 

The number of co-workers a person has should not impact their ability to save for their retirement. We need a reliable savings option that applies to businesses of all shapes and sizes and ensures that employees of “Mom and Pop” shops can retire as early, and as comfortably, as employees of the largest corporations.

I urge our legislators to support this savings option that will help me provide a peace of mind to my workforce while mitigating the time consuming and costly administration of a privately purchased plan—allowing me to focus on running my business.

owns Devil’s Gear Bike Shop in New Haven.

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