(Columbia) An AARP South Carolina survey of the Palmetto state’s small business owners shows overwhelming support for a turnkey retirement savings plan for their employees. The survey reported that 71% of small business owners support this option for their employees.
“Workers are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if an employer offers a plan than if they must find an IRA on their own,” said Teresa Arnold, AARP South Carolina state director. “There are approximately 827,000 private sector employees that have no access to saving for retirement through their employer.” The Palmetto state ranks dead last for the average individual savings in a 401(k) and also falls below the national average of retirement plan participation for private sector employees.
A retirement savings option would provide a competitive edge according to 78% of South Carolina small business owners surveyed. Small business owner Evon McAngus would get behind the idea of a turnkey retirement savings plan for her employees. "A retirement savings plan would not only help me as a business owner remain competitive but also allow my employees to be competitive when it comes to planning their financial security,” she said. Her West Columbia based interior design and furnishing business employees 11 full and part time individuals.
“Access to an employer-based retirement plan is critical for building financial security later in life,” Arnold said. As a further action step to examine this issue, AARP South Carolina also announced the formation of a Work and Save Task Force to develop recommendations to assist South Carolina small business owners and employees in saving for retirement. The task force will specifically be looking at a legislative models and best practices for what any legislation would look like.
The survey noted that 82% of small business owners agree South Carolina lawmakers should support a small business retirement savings option. “The Work and Save Task Force is comprised of business leaders and advocates from across the state working to elevate the importance of retirement savings in South Carolina,” said task force member Darrell Eickhoff. The charge of the Work and Save Task Force is to thoroughly research best practices and savings models, to develop a framework plan that can be easily implemented in South Carolina and demonstrate to small business owners and employees the importance of a turnkey retirement savings program.
About the survey: The survey demographics included 450 small business owners with 1-100 additional employees. Business types identified were 89% for profit and 11% non-profit with business revenues of less than $50,000: 17%, $50,000 – $500,000: 46% and $500,00+ 22%. Ideology: Conservative 51%, Moderate 25%, Liberal 10%. Political party Democrat 14%, Republican 45%, Independent/Something else 12%. Business owners gender: 58% male and 42% female. Margin of error is +/- 4.6%.