GOP cripples small business owners’ ability to save for the future

Washington, D.C. – Senate Republicans today narrowly repealed a regulation that made it possible for cities to administer retirement plans commonly known as Secure Choice, and are likely to repeal the accompanying state-level rule as well. These repeals hurt small businesses and their employees for no reason other than to benefit mutual fund companies that don’t want competition from more transparent, lower-cost plans set up by local government.

"Small business owners wear many hats, but being investment advisers should not be one of them," said Lisa Hagerty, a small business owner in Stowe, Vermont."Programs like this that put small business  owners in the best position care for themselves throughout their lives, while helping employees do the same, are a no-brainer. So why are Republicans in Congress dismantling them?"

Main Street Alliance small business owners have been actively working to establish retirement savings options, like Secure Choice, which are portable, professional administered, and easy-to-use. Opponents fail to make a strong argument against these government-run retirement plans - another indicator that the GOP’s move against them is a favor to the financial industry. The vote today is a significant disappointment and setback for the future security of small businesses and their employees.

Small businesses across the country need Secure Choice retirement plans in order to grow their business and better compete with larger companies. The US is already facing a national savings retirement crisis. Over 55 million Americans, or about half the private sector, work for employers that don’t offer retirement plans. The problem is particularly acute among small businesses and their employees because administering retirement plans is complicated and expensive, and most owners plow their profits back into the business.

“We delayed setting up a 401(k) because of the high cost and complexity,” said John Calhoun, Portland, Oregon small business owner. “In addition, I have personal financial and legal exposure if the 401(k) plan is not properly administered. Frankly, running a retirement plan is not how I want to spend my business time. It is a distraction from the needs of running the business.”