Ohio Lawmakers Consider Committee for Looming Retirement Crisis

By Nadia Ramlagan
Ohio News Connection

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio lawmakers are exploring ways to address the state’s looming retirement crisis.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, if the personal retirement savings situation remains unchanged, Ohio could expect to see a more than $11 billion increase in state spending over the next two decades.

House Bill 501 would create a Joint Legislative Study Committee tasked with studying retirement options for small businesses and state-facilitated workplace programs to improve access to retirement savings.

Amy Milam, associate state director of outreach and advocacy for AARP Ohio, said people are more likely to save for their golden years when they can do so by having a percentage of their paycheck deducted.

“In Ohio, we have 42% of Ohio’s private sector workers – that’s roughly 1.8 million people – who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer,” Milam said.

Nationwide, about 64% of Hispanic workers and 45% of Asian American workers lack access to an employer-provided retirement plan. According to an AARP report, almost 3 of 4 workers with less than a high school diploma lack a work-based retirement plan, a much higher percentage than those with a bachelor’s degree.

Milam said more than a dozen other states have created partnerships with employers to offer state-sponsored plans to give employees access to Individual Retirement Accounts.

“Giving employees a simple way to save for retirement on the job means that fewer Ohioans will need to rely on public assistance later in life, which will benefit the individual and will also benefit the state by saving taxpayer dollars,” Milam said.

In some states, investment companies have pushed back on state-sponsored plans, seeing them as competition. But a 2023 survey by AARP found 92% of Ohio business owners support legislation creating a public-private retirement savings option for workers.

Pictured at top: The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.