Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security
Press Release

Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security Statement on Private Sector Retirement Bill

The proposal would commission a study on the best ways to offer a new path to saving for retirement for private sector workers.

By - Dec 10th, 2015 06:03 pm

MADISON, WI – DECEMBER 10, 2015 – In front of the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform, two labor leaders who direct the Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security (WCRS) spoke strongly in favor of SB 45, the Private Secure Retirement Act, written by Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay). The proposal would commission a study on the best ways to offer a new path to saving for retirement for private sector workers, based on several tenets of the state’s exemplary retirement system.

Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin (PFFW) and Betsy Kippers, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) offered the following joint statement on the hearing and the bill:

As proud public servants, we are grateful to have an excellent state pension system that minimizes costs and delivers a more secure retirement for 600,000 people. It is unfortunate that millions of private sector workers have no access to a plan like this.

SB 45 is a start for those workers and the state. As more people approach retirement without a defined-benefit plan the rate of senior citizens in poverty is likely to increase. Even those who take advantage of individual retirement accounts will mostly get a smaller return on their dollars due to higher management fees and the inability to cooperatively invest. This situation is unacceptable when a model for a successful program exists: the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). We urge the Committee to hold an executive session and pass the bill so it can receive a vote in the full Senate.

We also would like to applaud the efforts of Senator Hansen and Reresentative Genrich for proposing the bill. Furthermore, we appreciate the strong support from our partners in this Coalition, including AFSCME Council 32, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, The American Federation of Teachers-WI, the WI AFL-CIO, the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, and the National Public Pension Coalition.

The WCRS is a coalition of labor and state-wide community organizations dedicated to protecting Wisconsin’s top notch public pension systems and improving retirement options for all workers. The bill can be read here.

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