States try to save retirement while Washington waits

AN AMBITIOUS EFFORT TO CLOSE ONE of the biggest gaps in the American system of retirement saving is under way in California. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is expected to sign into law a program that will provide retirement-savings coverage to the estimated 7.5 million small-business employees in the state who lack workplace plans. The California Secure Choice program will require small-business employers to auto-enroll their workers in an IRA.

The move by the most populous state in the country adds critical mass to a state-level movement to improve retirement security for workers who lack employer plans. “It will be a watershed moment,” says Sarah Mysiewicz Gill, a senior legislative representative at AARP. “States keep an eye on California’s innovation, and this will

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