For Release: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Contact: Herb Perone
(202) 659-4177 (office)
(323) 646-2651 (mobile)
Washington, DC – The vast majority of small business owners – an overwhelming 82 percent – support the concept behind a proposed new retirement plan that would provide their employees with a guaranteed monthly pension benefit for life after they stop working. And nearly seven out of 10 owners – 69 percent – say they would be interested in adopting such a retirement plan for their own businesses.
These and other findings of a survey of 500 small business owners were released today by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), which formally launched its Secure Choice Pension (SCP) proposal in September. The SCP plan, modeled on the public pension system, would allow private-sector employers to provide workers who are not in a pension plan with a guaranteed, lifetime retirement income that would be immune to stock market fluctuations and economic downturns.
NCPERS’s national telephone survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group in mid-September.
“While Wall Street focuses narrowly on next quarter’s profit statements, the small business owners on Main Street take a much longer view – and they know that the long-term health of their businesses depends heavily on loyal, productive employees,” said Hank Kim, Esq., NCPERS executive director and counsel. “Our survey shows clearly that small businesses, which truly are the engine of American economic growth, want to offer retirement benefits to their employees – not just because they feel a moral obligation to do so, but because they believe it’s good for business and their bottom lines.
“Surveys show that after watching Great Recession wipe out significant value from their 401(k) balances, most private-sector employees want the security of lifetime pension benefits,” Kim said. “And to effectively address America’s retirement security crisis, workers need all three legs of the retirement security stool – pension benefits, Social Security and personal savings like 401(k)s. Our SCP proposal is a viable response to workers’ desires, employers’ business needs and America’s overall retirement crisis.”
Among the key findings of the NCPERS small business survey:
As envisioned by NCPERS, the SCP would be a public-private enterprise. Each state would establish its own SCP, which private-sector employers would join. Both the participating employers and employees could make regular contributions to the SCP. SCPs would give participants the benefits of lower costs, because of the efficiencies and economies of scale available to large pension plans. It would also give participants the benefit of higher returns because SCP assets would be pooled and managed by professionals.
“The SCP would address the private sector retirement security crisis through a guaranteed, affordable, sustainable pension,” Kim said. “With the SCP, retirement security need not continue to be an elusive goal, even for those who already have, or who already provide, retirement benefits.”
NCPERS’ full proposal for the Secure Choice Pension, as well as NCPERS’ small business survey, are available at www.retirementsecurityforall.org.
The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 550 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique non-profit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage nearly $3 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research and education for the benefit of public