HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s private sector workers would have access to state-run retirement plans under legislation moving through the General Assembly with the support of majority Democrats, but questioned by skeptical Republicans who say the state should stay out of private investment decisions.
Two committees have approved a measure establishing a trust fund to administer retirement plans for workers who would automatically be enrolled unless they opt out.
Democratic Rep. Peter Tercyak, the House chairman of the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee, said the legislation is intended to provide workers with access to retirement plans even if their employers don’t.
“We seem to have lost previous generations’ culture of savings,” he said Tuesday as the legislature’s Appropriations Committee debated the measure. “This is an attempt to help solve that problem.”
Republican Sen. Rob Kane of Watertown said workers can invest in retirement plans without the help of the state.
“I don’t know if that is going to actually solve the issue by creating a whole new plan for something that is currently available in the market,” he said.
Connecticut’s legislation, which now heads to the Senate, would extend access to individual retirement accounts to employees who are not eligible for an employer pension or other unspecified “arrangement” recognized in federal tax law. For a fee, a trust fund board would establish investment choices, provide educational information, determine eligibility and conduct other administrative functions.