Small businesses would be able to offer no-cost savings plans to help employees save for retirement under legislation heard today by the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

“As a small business owner, I can’t help but notice that many of my employees aren’t saving for retirement,” said Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah and the sponsor of Senate Bill 5826. “There’s a reason for this. Small businesses, which employ more than 40 percent of private sector employees in our state, often cannot offer retirement plans due to the cost and administrative burden required by existing plans.”

Mullet’s legislation would create simple, affordable retirement savings plans run entirely by the private sector at no cost to the employer and minimal cost to the employee. An earlier version of Mullet’s legislation, introduced in the 2014 session, would have had the state provide the plans. This bill relies entirely on the private sector for the plans.

“This legislation will help employees save for retirement, which is critical to their ability to make ends meet in their later years,” Mullet said. “It will reduce the extent of the need and cost of safety-net programs for retirees who lack savings, it will enable small businesses to help their employees save toward retirement, and it will make our communities stronger.”