At the NCLR 2015 California Fall Regional Convening in Rancho Cucamonga, California, earlier this month, California State Treasurer John Chiang spoke to our Affiliate Network about the California Secure Choice retirement plan and how this program can help millions of Latinos in the state prepare for a financially secure retirement.
Close to 50 Affiliate organizations from across the state participated in the two-day convening, hosted by our Affiliate, Neighborhood Housing Partnership Services. There they engaged in peer-to-peer learning, networking, and heard from NCLR staff and partners for issue briefings on a number of policy topics.
Currently, only 29 percent of Latinos in California have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, making the Secure Choice individual retirement accounts (IRAs) an important policy for this segment of the American workforce. California Secure Choice, which was passed and enacted in 2012, would provide IRAs for workers whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. NCLR’s research on the state of Latino retirement, Enhancing Latino Retirement Readiness in California, finds that certain plan features could remove barriers many Latino workers face today in preparing for retirement, including automatic payroll contributions, the ability to keep the account when an employee changes jobs, and the plan’s wide reach—workers at companies with just five or more employees would be automatically enrolled in the plan.
Treasurer Chiang noted that the Secure Choice board is conducting research and engaging stakeholders across the state, including employers and community members, on the plan’s design specifics. NCLR will continue to follow these developments and keep Affiliates updated on opportunities to provide their perspective to help ensure implementation of Secure Choice in California will maximize Latino participation.