Connecticut coalition pushes MyRA passage

A Connecticut coalition formed to urge passage of the state’s version of President Barack Obama’a MyRA plan on Tuesday renewed its call for the legislature to approve it.

The Retirement for All CT Coalition held a press conference on the steps of the state Capitol in Hartford touting a bill sponsored by state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, a Democrat. The bill was not voted on last year and is expected to be reintroduced this month.

“President Obama took an important step by creating a new MyRA plan at the federal level, but we need to do more to ensure people from every walk of life have the ability to save for their future,” said Bette Marafino, president of the Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans.

The basic outlines of the bill, modeled after similar legislation in California, would allow the 740,000 not covered by retirement plans to put a percentage of their pay into a trust fund administered by the state. The accounts would be portable, allowing workers to continue to save for retirement when they changed employers.

The coalition noted research that shows the lack of retirement savings among non-whites is particularly lacking.

“By the numbers, Hispanic workers are the most insecure in their retirement right now, with 69 percent of our working age families lacking access to a retirement savings plan at work,” said Angel Sierra, president of The Spanish American Merchants Association. “As small businesses operating in our community, we want to be able to provide our employees with peace of mind about their future.”

The coalition includes, among other groups, the Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans, the Connecticut AFL-CIO, SEIU Connecticut and the United Auto Workers.


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