Over the past few years, a number of state legislatures have considered proposals to address the need for employees of non-public companies to have access to retirement plans—and for good reason. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, “Americans typically rely on employer-sponsored plans for retirement savings, yet nearly half of U.S. firms—and 70% of small businesses—do not offer this option. Policymakers are offering proposals intended to expand retirement savings, though there is still not a nuanced understanding of barriers employers face.”

The National Conference of State Legislators reports that as many as 12 states have considered or passed bills that address this issue. Massachusetts is one of them.

In 2012, Governor Patrick signed House Bill 3754: “An Act to Provide Retirement Options for Nonprofit Organizations.” The bill allows nonprofit organizations with fewer than 20 employees to enter into a contributory retirement plan. While no state money would be used, the fund would be overseen by the State Treasurer’s office.

A broader proposal introduced in 2012 by Representative Robert Koczera, House Bill 1194: “An Act relative to universal voluntary retirement accounts,” was referred to a study committee. Interestingly, Section 1 of the bill begins as follows: “The legislature finds that small and medium sized businesses find it difficult to offer retirement plans because of the complexity and costs. Businesses offering retirement plans have better ability to recruit and retain employees.” The author of the bill may not have known it, but the language speaks directly to one of the major benefits of partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO).

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) says this about PEOs: “A PEO provides comprehensive HR solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Payroll, benefits, HR, tax administration, and regulatory compliance assistance are some of the many services PEOs provide to growing businesses across the country.” Many PEOs address the needs of small businesses specifically—Genesis is one of them. We have responded to the concerns of small and midsized business owners for more than 25 years.

We applaud those legislators who see the need to address a serious concern. We live in an age where social security benefits are not adequate for many and may indeed not be there for many younger workers when the time comes for them to retire. Every American worker should participate in a retirement savings plan. A small business owner can wait for legislators to act sometime in the future, or opt to partner with a PEO today, which can clearly address the sentiment in the above referenced House Bill: “Businesses offering retirement plans have better ability to recruit and retain employees.” We couldn’t agree more.