The Wyoming Retirement Security Task Force will meet for the fourth time this year on October 19 at 10 a.m. in the University of Wyoming’s Art Museum in Laramie.
The 11-person task force, made up of representatives from small business, non-profits, legislators, and state government, is determining what can be done to help Wyoming residents more easily save money for retirement. When individuals save for retirement they are less likely to rely on public assistance programs later in life, such as Medicaid.
The issue of retirement savings is not unique to Wyoming as the Governmental Accountability Office suggests that nationwide, just 41 percent of US citizens have no retirement savings. In Wyoming, Department of Workforce Services data points out nearly 73 percent of all employers do not offer a retirement plan to their employees.
Nationwide, more than 40 other states are also working on the issue of retirement savings and its impacts on the ability for citizens to take personal responsibility for their retirement while offering a positive impact on state budgets. After three meetings, the Task Force has heard from a number of experts on retirement security work. The Task Force has examined retirement programs for private businesses already set up in Maryland, Utah, Oregon, and Illinois, in addition to hearing from experts in the field of retirement security and its impacts on state budgets from Georgetown University, Boston College, and The Pew Charitable Trust. Friday, the Task Force will continue its education by taking testimony from Rick Anderson, who is a Policy Advisor with the State of Washington’s Retirement Marketplace.
The Task Force will also hear from local experts on Friday: University of Wyoming Professor Anne Alexander, PhD who will discuss the Wyoming Retirement Savings Gap, as well as Cindy DeLancy of the Wyoming Business Alliance, and Craig Showalter of the Wyoming Community Foundation.
The Task Force then plans to begin to outline a draft of the report it is required to give to the Legislature’s Joint Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee in December and discuss recommendations it will offer that committee.
The meeting is open to the public.
The Retirement Security Task Force is made up of:
- Wyoming State Senator Jim Anderson;
- Wyoming State Representative Mark Kinner;
- Wyoming State Representative Dan Furphy (alternate);
- Lisa Jerde Spillman, of the State Treasurer’s Office;
- Department of Workforce Service, Director John Cox;
- Sam Shumway, State Director AARP;
- Jay Schneiders, Red Horse Oil Company of Rock Springs;
- Ashley Bright, Casper Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming;
- Frank Boley, Vice President; D.A. Davidson & Company.