NEW YORK – AARP Hails NYS Assembly Passage of Bill to Strengthen State’s Retirement Savings Program

By AARPNY | May 12, 2021


Urges Senate to Pass, Governor to Sign Legislation to Improve ‘Secure Choice’ Automatic Payroll Deduction Retirement Savings Program for Private Sector Employees Who Lack Workplace Access

ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement about the New York State Assembly’s passage late yesterday of a bill to strengthen the State’s Secure Choice Savings Program (A3213A-Rodriguez) by a 121-26 vote with bipartisan support:

“This bill could help millions of private sector employees in New York State save for their retirement, making themselves financially independent.

“New York’s yet-to-be-implemented Secure Choice Savings Program would offer a portable, payroll-deduction Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to many of the more than 3.5 million 18- to 64-year-old private sector employees who work for companies that don’t already offer their employees a retirement savings plan.

“That’s over half New York’s private-sector workforce – with employees of color disproportionately lacking access to a workplace savings option.

“The bill that passed with bipartisan support amends the program to maximize retirement savings for employees.

“The legislation would require companies with at least 10 employees, which now offer no way for employees to save for retirement, to facilitate workers’ participation through auto-enroll payroll deduction unless the employee opts out.

“That would vastly increase participation.

“More than 2.5 million New Yorkers work for companies with at least 10 employees. And while people are 15 times likelier to save if they can do so through their workplace, they’re 20 times likelier if they’re automatically enrolled.

“Many small businesses recognize a workplace retirement savings plan as a benefit to attract and retain employees – but many can’t afford it. Secure Choice would solve that problem. And when AARP New York surveyed the owners of businesses with fewer than 100 employees, more than two thirds supported the idea behind Secure Choice.

“AARP applauds Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez for his leadership in advocating for the strongest possible retirement savings option and Speaker Carl Heastie and the Assembly for passing his bill.

“We thank Senator Diane Savino for sponsoring the bill (S5395A) in her house.

“With Mayor Bill de Blasio having signed a version of this program into law for New York City yesterday, we urge Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Senate to pass the Rodriguez-Savino bill and Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign it.”

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.