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Retirement Security Woes Affect Us All
Secure Choice Board moves forward on implementation

A Local 1000 member leader testifies about the retirement problems her family is facing even though they have a secure retirement through CalPERS.

Theresa Taylor, a longtime Local 1000 activist who was elected to the CalPERS board last year, told the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board of her family’s struggles because her husband became disabled.

“My husband became disabled because of a progressive spine disorder and, while we were waiting for disability benefits, we were forced to dip into his 401(k) which had already shrunk by half because of the economy,” Taylor testified. “Our hope for a secure retirement suffered a major setback that could have been avoided if my husband’s plan was more stable.”

“Even though I have a defined-benefit plan, my family’s financial situation is very unstable, and I have many worries for our future,” Taylor added. “My own situation is–sadly–a perfect example of how a secure retirement is out of reach for the majority of families in our state.”

Firm to study market for Secure Choice

At the same meeting, the Secure Choice Board voted unanimously to hire Overture Financial, LLC to conduct research and a feasibility study for the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program.

The firm has enlisted experts from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center to help identify the market for a retirement saving plan in California. In 2012, the Labor Center issued a report–that gained national attention–showing that only 37 percent of private-sector workers in California participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and that 6.3 million workers had no access to a pension or a 401(k).

“The board is on its way to developing a plan to meet the retirement security needs of millions of California workers,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker, who is a member of the Secure Choice Board. “All workers should have access to a secure, stable retirement income after working all of their adult lives.”

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