While more than half of the states in the Union are considering legislation to address retirement savings shortfalls, the most aggressive initiatives to date have been passed by decidedly "blue" states.

California, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, and Oregon have passed legislation that mandates participation in state-sponsored and administered individual retirement accounts for employees of businesses that don't sponsor a retirement plan.

Those plans, which create mandates for participation that include businesses with as few as five employees, are modeled from a policy proposal with conservative roots that was embraced by Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R- AZ, in 2008.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.