Small businesses would be able to offer no-cost savings plans to help employees at small businesses save for retirement, under legislation passed today by the Senate on a 29-20 vote.

Senate Bill 5826,” sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, now goes to the House for consideration there.

“I know many small business owners, like me, would like to be able to help their employees save for retirement,” Mullet said. “Unfortunately for many small businesses, however, the cost and administrative burden required by existing plans makes them unaffordable.”

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.”