RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS

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By Powrs (Protect Our Wisconsin Retirement System)

Two Wisconsin legislators, Rep. Eric Genrich-DePere and Senator Dave Hansen-Green Bay, have teamed up to bring retirement security to private sector workers in Wisconsin. Assembly Bill 403 and Senate Bill 302 propose solving the impending retirement crisis by helping create a way for everyone to achieve a decent retirement income in the future.

These ideas were proposed in the past, but the Republican-controlled legislature has not allowed the bills out of committee for a floor vote. The need for retirement-for-all is too important to give up: EVERYONE deserves a secure retirement and that is why POWRS wants you to step up and help.

RETIREMENT SECURITY IS NOT GETTING BETTER. More Wisconsinites are working, but salaries have advanced little. Nearly a million Wisconsinites work for employers that do not offer a retirement plan (AARP data) because most Wisconsin employers do not provide pensions. Some do provide matching contributions, but programs like 401Ks don’t work well for most workers. Defined benefit plans like the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) are what people need.

WHAT THE GENRICH AND HANSEN BILLS DO: Just like their previous bills, AB 403 and SB 302 (Private Security Retirement Act or PSRA) set up a process to study, create, and implement a private retirement security plan. The bills call for the creation of a Wisconsin Private Retirement Security Board to oversee building a private retirement security program modeled on the WRS.

Funds would be managed by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), but public WRS funds and private sector funds could NOT be mixed. Participants could be charged reasonable service fees.

AB 403 and SB 302 must have hearings, then get out of committee to have any chance of becoming law. You can help by:

Contacting your local representative and senator to ask him/her to support AB 403 and SB 302

Contacting the committee chairs listed below. Ask them to hold hearings and a committee vote.

AB 403: Assigned to Committee on State Affairs, Representative Rob Swearingen, Chair. Contact him at Rep.Swearingen@legis.wisconsin.gov; 608-266-7141; Room 123 W, State Capitol, PO Box 8953, Madison, 53708. Be sure to cc Rep.Heselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov, or call 608-266-5340.

SB 302: Assigned to Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Military Affairs, and Senior Issues, Senator Patrick Testin, Chair. Contact him at Sen.Testin@legis.wi.gov; 608-266-3123; Room 131 State Capitol, PO Box 7882, Madison, 53707. Also cc: Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov, or call 608-266-6670.

(POWRS (Protect our Wisconsin Retirement Security) is a statewide group of activist volunteers who protect the Wisconsin Retirement System and seek retirement security for all. Follow POWRS on Facebook at “POWRS” )