AARP VIRGINIA URGES CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TO REJECT AMENDMENTS TO VirginiaSaves BILL

Posted on 02/25/21

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RICHMOND _ AARP Virginia today urged a General Assembly Conference Committee to make VirginiaSaves available to 400,000 more Virginia workers by rejecting changes made by the Senate.

AARP Virginia supports House Bill 2174, which establishes a retirement program for the more than 1.2 million workers in Virginia who currently do not have access to a retirement program through their employer. The bill has passed the House and the Senate, but the Senate made changes that would block access to this vital program for over 400,000 Virginia residents. Because the bill passed each chamber in different forms, a conference committee of House and Senate members must hammer out an agreement to finalize the legislation.

“As the bill heads into conference, AARP Virginia urges you to strike the amendment limiting eligibility to the program to employees who work 30 or more hours per week,” Natalie Snider, AARP Virginia Associate State Director for Advocacy wrote in a letter to Conference Committee members. “We also urge you to reconsider the amended number of employees for employer participation and return to the original language that includes employers with five or more employees.”

Senator Stephen Newman (R-Forest) proposed the amendment to increase the size of employers required to offer the program from those with five employees or more to 25 or more. Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) amended the bill to provide the program only to employees who work more than 30 hours per week.

AARP believes that requiring employers to track their employees’ hours to determine their eligibility for VirginiaSaves places an unnecessary administrative burden on employers, particularly small business owners, and excluding workers in businesses with fewer than 25 employees could be detrimental to the smaller companies.

“By requiring only businesses with 25 or more employees to participate in the program, small businesses again lose out on the benefits of being able to offer their employees a simple, plug-and play retirement savings option,” Snider wrote. “By including small businesses in the program, it helps them compete with larger employers by helping them recruit and retain employees, while sparing them the burden and liability of administering plans themselves.”

With 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth. In recent years, AARP Virginia has successfully fought for Medicaid expansion, protections for older people against financial exploitation, and empowering family caregivers.

To learn more about AARP Virginia, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aarpvirginia and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aarpva.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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