WisEARNS: A Solution for Wisconsin’s Retirement Saving Crisis

Posted on 07/18/22

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Retirement is an important party of every person’s life. It is also something that can be costly if you do not work to prepare for it.  

The average retired person still spends around $48,000 a year. Unless one starts preparing and saving for retirement early, it can be a hard goal to achieve.

Retirement savings plans help people budget their retirement responsibly and efficiently. However, most retirement savings plans are offered through employers. As a result, many people are left without access to work and save programs. In Wisconsin alone, over 930,000 people have no workplace savings retirement program.  

Although you may think you can save on your own, without a retirement savings plan, it can be difficult. One must budget for housing, insurance, healthcare, maintenance, food, travel, and more when trying to plan their retirement. Without a plan offered by their employer, people are 15 times less likely to save.

But there are solutions to this work and save crisis. In Wisconsin, a bill was introduced this year to create WisEARNS, a state-facilitated individual retirement savings program to help Wisconsin workers save their own money for retirement.

This program would allow businesses that do not offer an employment-based retirement program a way to be competitive with those who do offer retirement plans. Workers decide if they want to participate and how much they want to save.  This would allow business and employees more flexibility and peace of mind. 

If people had the chance to save for their retirement, they would be less likely to need safety-net programs when they retire. A state-facilitated retirement program like WisEARNS could result in an estimated $3.5 billion in Wisconsin taxpayer’s savings in 2030 for public assistance programs. That’s a HUGE savings!

WisEARNS is good for Wisconsin taxpayers, small businesses, and workers.  That’s a solution we should all get behind. 

Next time you see a candidate for office, ask them:

If elected, what is your plan to ensure every Wisconsinite has options to save for retirement?

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

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