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Survey Says Majority Support Creating Workplace Retirement Fund

Minnesota, Illinois Are Studying Similar Fun

Wisconsin state Capitol
DMichael Burns (CC-BY)

A new survey of Wisconsinites found that 60 percent of people over the age of 45 years old want the state to create a retirement fund for people who don’t have access to one at their workplace.

The survey of 1,000 people conducted in September by the Wisconsin chapter of AARP found 40 percent of respondents didn’t have an employer-based retirement plan.

Helen Marks Dicks, AARP state director, said her group will use the poll to lobby for a bill that would create fund that would not place a burden on employers.

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“It would be very similar to what would happen if your employees said they wanted to contribute to the United Way,” she said. “You are merely a pass through. There is no requirement that as an employer would have to pay money in, no management responsibility on your part as an employer.”

Dicks said Republican poll respondents were more likely than Democrats to support the idea. Minnesota and Illinois are already studying a similar approach for creating publicly run, privately funded workplace retirement fund.

Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen introduced a bill last session that would fund a feasibility study for creating the fund. Dicks said the study would use the expertise of the state Employee Trust Fund and the Wisconsin Investment Board to create a fund that would allow private-sector employees to pool their money for retirement in the same way public employees do now.