Group Encourages State to Study Retirement Plans

Charleston Daily Mail - A group of retirement savings advocates is asking the Legislature to spend the next year studying a way for the state to expand options for people to save for retirement, even if their employer does not currently offer a plan. Read

The newly formed West Virginia Coalition for Retirement Options made a presentation to the Senate Economic Development Committee Wednesday about small business owners' need for help in giving their employees access to retirement plans. George Manahan, owner of the public relations firm The Manahan Group, is executive director of the organization.

He said the group was formed after legislation to establish a Voluntary Employee Retirement Accounts system — which would have operated similar to the state's SMART529 college savings plan — failed during the 2014 legislative session. Manahan said that when the bill failed in 2014, then-Senate Finance Committee chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, challenged Manahan to produce more evidence of what small businesses thought of the plan.

A 2014 study by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy found that nearly 47 percent of the state's private-sector workforce — roughly 287,000 people — did not have access to a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401k.


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