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January Sees Flurry of State Plan Legislation


In the first six days of 2022, measures were introduced in three state legislatures that would establish retirement plans run by the state, or by third parties with which the state establishes a contract. Shortly after, a fourth measure was introduced to bolster a recently established state plan. 


On Jan. 4, Rep. Orlando Paden (D-Clarksdale) introduced into the Mississippi House of Representatives House Bill 152, a measure that would establish the Mississippi Secure Choice Savings Program. 

The bill would create a state-sponsored program to promote greater retirement saving by employees of private-sector employers that do not offer a plan. 
Employees would be automatically enrolled in an IRA funded by automatic payroll deductions. Enrollment of employees would begin in 2024, with all employees to be enrolled by Dec. 31, 2026. Employers that fail to comply with the requirements of the act would be penalized. 

The bill would create a Mississippi Secure Choice Savings Board to run the program. The board would be required to engage investment managers to invest program funds, establish investment options for enrollees and design and provide information packets for employers and employees. 

House Bill 152 was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. 


On Jan. 6, Rep. Michael O'Donnell (R-Oakville) introduced House Bill 1732 in the House of Representatives. 

The bill would: 

  • create the Missouri Workplace Retirement Savings Plan, a voluntary, state-run open multiple-employer plan (MEP) for small employers (those with no more than 50 employees);  
  • provide for individuals to be able to make contributions to the plan no later than Sept. 1, 2024; and 
  • establish the Missouri Workplace Retirement Savings Board, which would fall under the aegis of the State Treasurer and would design, develop and implement the plan. 

House Bill 1732 is before the House Financial Institutions Committee. 

Rhode Island

Also on Jan. 6, SB 2014, the Rhode Island Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program Act, was introduced in the Rhode Island Senate. 

The measure would create a state-facilitated auto-IRA program for employees of private-sector employers that do not offer a retirement plan.   

Under the measure, investment options would be designed to reflect different risk profiles that automatically reallocate and rebalance contributions as an employee ages. It also calls for investment options that prioritize the securities of companies that demonstrate good governance, efficient use of environmental resources and thoughtful management of social impact. It also would require that all investment offerings be approved by the state investment commission. 

SB 2014 is before the Senate Finance Committee. 


On Jan. 12, Del. Barry D. Knight (R-Virginia Beach) introduced HB 30, the state budget bill, which includes a provision that would provide $20 million to cover the start-up expenses of VirginiaSaves,  a state-run retirement plan for employees whose employers do not offer one.

HB 30 is before the House Committees on Appropriations, General Laws and Rules.