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Connecticut’s State-Run Plan on Hold as State Seeks Director

The Nutmeg State’s state-run retirement program for private-sector workers remains on hold as the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority (CRSA) seeks an executive director to run it.

Legislation establishing the program was enacted in 2016 providing for the creation of the Connecticut Retirement Security Exchange for the state’s private-sector employers and their employees. The exchange is intended to promote and enhance retirement savings for the private-sector workforce in the state by offering employees in Connecticut who lack access to employer-sponsored retirement plans the opportunity to save for their retirement through Roth IRAs. The exchange also will offer companies that employ people in Connecticut a way to collect payroll contributions that will then be invested in the employee’s choice of private investment funds that the board has selected.

The law set Jan. 1, 2018 as the implementation date for the exchange. In November 2017, however, the CRSA Board of Directors voted to defer the statutory implementation date. Labor Commissioner Scott D. Jackson, who also serves as CRSA Chair, said at that time that the CRSA Boardagreed that “because the authority is currently in the preliminary stages of plan development, the implementation date specified in the state statute is not achievable.”

On Sept. 11, CRSA spokesperson Nancy Steffens reported that there still “is no specific date yet for the program start time.” She attributed this to the board action and to the fact that the CRSA “is actively seeking to hire an Executive Director to oversee the Authority.”

Looking Beyond

The board has a broader vision for the position than simply one that affects Connecticut. In the job listing it posted, the board says that it intends the executive director not only to provide leadership for the authority, but also “establish a national profile.” Says the board, “This unique position presents the opportunity to establish a program that serves as a national model as additional states seek to enter this emerging market space. The Board expects that the Executive Director will establish a national profile, and through this platform, provide leadership and policy development in and beyond Connecticut.”