If you haven't saved any money at all for retirement you have a lot of company according to a 2014 Federal Reserve report.

Piggy Bank Savings

There is a plan to give New Jersey workers the chance to have their company deduct a small percentage of their salary and put it into a state-run retirement account. The top lawmaker in the Assembly said the federal statistics on those saving for retirement were shocking.

"My plan would help New Jersey workers save. It would allow them to take three percent of their salary and put it into an IRA account," Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus) said.

On Thursday, the Assembly Labor Committee was scheduled to consider legislation (A-4275) co-sponsored by Prieto that would create the "New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program." Companies with 25 employees or more would be required to offer the retirement deduction. Smaller employers with less than 25 workers could participate, but don't have to.

"This program is designed to promote greater retirement savings for private sector employees in a convenient, low cost, and portable manner, which is important because an employee can take the plan with them if they leave for a job at another qualifying employer," said bill co-sponsor Assemblyman Joe Lagana (D-Paramus) in a press release.

A 2014 Federal Reserve report revealed that 31 percent of Americans have not saved any money for retirement. Included in that 31 percent are 19 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64.

"This bill is common sense in this day and age," said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) in an emailed statement. "Many working families are worried about their retirements, and with this bill, they can ease those fears, and do so as they see fit."

Statistics released by the Employers Association of New Jersey revealed:

  • 38 million American households (45 percent) have no retirement accounts;
  • The median retirement account balance is $3,000 for all working households;
  • The median retirement account balance for near retirement households is $12,000;
  • 47 million Americans receive social security as their primary retirement money.

The retirement savings program would be overseen by a seven-member board that would include state Treasurer, Comptroller, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget or designees of their choice.

"Employees would opt in. if they didn't want to participate they wouldn't have to," Prieto said. "That little bit every time as an additional deduction, they probably wouldn't feel it, but it's being put away for them."

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