Colorado Small Business Owners Support State Retirement Savings Program

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, March 27, 2017

New scientific opinion polling shows majority of small business owners support creation of a voluntary retirement savings program; believe this can help make their business more competitive


Denver—A scientific opinion poll released today by AARP and Small Business Majority shows the vast majority of Colorado’s small business owners support the creation of a privately managed, state retirement savings program that would allow employees to more easily save for their financial future. What’s more, small business owners believe offering such a program to their employees would give their business a competitive edge.

The poll, commissioned by AARP Colorado, found almost three in five small business owners in Colorado (58 percent) support a privately managed state retirement savings program that would help small businesses offer employees a way to save for the future. Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) believe offering such a program makes small businesses more competitive by helping them attract and retain talented employees.

Unfortunately, many small business owners face barriers to providing a workplace savings account. Three in five respondents do not currently provide a workplace retirement savings plan, with cost cited as the biggest reason. Among those who do not offer retirement benefits, two-thirds say they would offer a state retirement savings plan, if such a plan were available.

“The biggest challenge for small businesses like mine is managing employee turnover,” said Everett Schneider, owner of Bedrock Landscaping Materials in Denver. “One way of minimizing turnover is by offering great benefits, including retirement savings programs, but unfortunately I’m not able to offer a retirement program to my employees at this time. Many small employers like me don’t have the money, time, expertise or staff to oversee such a program. That’s why having access to a convenient retirement savings program is essential to small businesses so we can compete with larger businesses for talent.”  

HB 17-1290, recently introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives by Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Rep. Janet Buckner, and in the Colorado Senate by Sen. Nancy Todd and Sen. Kerry Donovan, would give more options to small businesses that don’t offer retirement programs by establishing the Colorado Secure Savings Plan—a public-private partnership that would allow private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account through modest payroll deductions. This would help small business owners offer retirement savings benefits at no added cost to their business.

The survey also revealed that the majority of small business owners (60 percent) are concerned about their employees having enough retirement savings, and more than two-thirds agree the state should do more to encourage residents to save for retirement. Nearly three in four (72 percent) believe Colorado lawmakers should support a plan to make it easier for small business owners to offer an opportunity for their employees to save for retirement.

“Colorado small business owners know that offering a retirement plan helps them better compete in the job market and boosts morale among their employees,” said Tim Gaudette, Colorado Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority. “As these results show, employers clearly recognize the importance of helping their workers prepare for retirement, but several barriers are preventing them from doing more. A state retirement savings program in Colorado would offer small employers a convenient option for themselves and their employees to save more money so they can prepare for the future.”

It’s important to note that Social Security does not provide enough retirement income for most Americans, which is another reason small businesses and their employees need more savings options.

“Too many times, we hear from older adults who rely on Social Security as their only income source,” said Bob Murphy, AARP Colorado State Director. “We want to see people have additional savings and we know the simplest way to do this is through automatic payroll deductions. Giving employees a simple way to save for retirement means fewer Coloradans will need to rely on government safety-nets.”

For the full survey findings, please visit:


About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We regularly engage our network of more than 50,000 small business owners, along with a formal strategic partnership program of 150 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers, including access to capital, taxes, healthcare, retirement, entrepreneurship and workforce development. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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