FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SACRAMENTO — The California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released the following statement from Executive Director Chris Hoene in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s signing this morning of Senate Bill (SB) 1234, which establishes the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program.
“The California Budget & Policy Center applauds the leadership of Governor Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De León, and State Treasurer John Chiang in creating the first-of-its-kind Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program for private-sector workers, signed into law by the Governor today.
“The creation of Secure Choice represents a turning point in a several-decades-long race to the bottom in retirement security for private-sector workers. The widespread elimination and reduction of pensions and other retirement benefits in the private sector leaves a growing number of California workers, especially younger, low-income, and female workers, facing economic hardship when they reach retirement and increasingly reliant on public assistance to help make ends meet.
“With Secure Choice, nearly 7 million workers across California will be offered a portable retirement plan. Their participation will be encouraged through automatic enrollment, with the ability to opt out, and small payroll deductions. Secure Choice offers private-sector workers who do not have a savings plan through their workplace the chance to save for retirement and supplement Social Security.
“We commend Senate President pro Tempore De León for his sponsorship of SB 1234, the California State Legislature for passing the bill, State Treasurer John Chiang for working with federal officials to create a pathway for the establishment of programs like Secure Choice, and Governor Brown for signing Secure Choice into law. The establishment of Secure Choice means that more of today’s workers will be saving to afford a high quality of life in retirement.”
The California Budget & Policy Center engages in independent fiscal and policy analysis and public education with the goal of improving public policies affecting the economic and social well-being of low- and middle-income Californians. Support for the the Budget Center comes from foundation grants, subscriptions, and individual contributions.