Bill Creates Retirement Plan For All Wisconsin Residents

Bill Would Resemble Plan Already Available to Public Employees

Courtesy of the State of Wisconsin

State lawmakers want to create a voluntary retirement plan for Wisconsin residents similar to the plan public employees have.

Kim Stanfill-McMillan owns the Madison business Fired Up Pottery, which she started in 2005. She said none of her 12 employees have savings for retirement.

“I’m really happy that this bill would allow them the opportunity by having a stable place to put their retirement funding and in one location,” said Stanfill-McMillan. “So as they hop from job to job to job like I did, it would be staying with them the whole time.”

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The bill creates a board that would establish a private retirement security plan in the state similar to the public employee retirement plan. It would provide Wisconsin residents who choose to use the plan with retirement benefits. The board is required to conduct a study looking at the feasibility of creating the plan and hold public hearings about it around the state.

State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, sponsored the legislation. He said the plan would be separate from the public employee retirement fund, but would be managed similarly. Hansen also said the bill would make it easier for people like small business owners and farmers to plan and save for retirement.

“We believe there is a real crisis out there and that action needs to be taken to solve it and it has to happen now,” Hansen said. “We believe the answer is to make it possible for the residents of Wisconsin to have access to the same type of retirement plan that public employees and elected officials have.”

Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay, is also a sponsor of the bill. He said all Wisconsin residents deserve access to a safe and secure retirement option.

“What we’re offering today, though, is a long-term vision – an economic policy that is innovative and new, and meets the real needs of average Wisconsinites,” Genrich said.

Genrich also said that California and Connecticut are looking into similar plans.