WHAT’S ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS FOR CONNECTICUT TAX PAYERS?
Hartford (April 26, 2016) – After a long night and a hotly contested debate, the state where there are more bankers, brokers and investment advisors per capita than almost anywhere else, the House of Representatives passed a state-run mandatory retirement plan for the private businesses. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Connecticut and its economy would have been better off allowing private investment companies to compete for those retirement assets.
“As if small businesses do not already have enough to deal with thanks to poor policy choices in Hartford, they are now one step closer to being burdened with establishing automatic payroll deductions for workers unless the employees opt out. Increasing the cost to do business is exactly the opposite message that lawmakers should be sending small employers, and yet here we are,” said NFIB Connecticut state director, Andrew Markowski. “This issue first reared its head earlier in the year, and we were certainly hoping that common sense would prevail for a change. Unfortunately instead of putting their energy into reducing the regulatory burden on small business, a majority of legislators in the House just decided to increase regulation even though the private sector is more than capable of assisting people with retirement planning.”
A feasibility study conducted by both the State Comptroller and State Treasurer when the “work and save” legislation was first introduced included findings that were less than stellar. It cited the need for no less than $1 billion to become financially solvent. Although the recommendations of the study did not include forcing employers to match employee contributions, small business owners worry the program might easily morph into another mandate that neither they nor the state can afford.
“It’s incredibly difficult to believe that this is not the first step in ultimately requiring employers to contribute financially in some fashion to the state-run retirement program. If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, it’s no wonder that our members are concerned,” continued Markowski. “Connecticut continues to be at the bottom of the economic barrel because of poor policy decisions like this morning’s action in the House. Unless sensibility prevails in the Senate, ultimately this vote could mean that small business owners are suddenly having to become responsible for setting up the benefit, educating their workers about the option, meeting the filing and reporting requirements and changing their payroll systems.”