Vitelli, AARP Maine to host press event in support of effort to increase Mainers’ retirement savings

Posted: January 13, 2020 | Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services, Senator Vitelli

AUGUSTA — Assistant Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, on Tuesday, Jan. 14 will be joined by representatives of AARP Maine and a national expert to discuss a bill that would promote retirement savings and financial security in Maine.

Sen. Vitelli has sponsored LD 594, “An Act To Promote Individual Savings Accounts through a Public-Private Partnership,” which would offer a state-run retirement savings plan to Maine workers who do not have one available through their employer. The bill was carried over from the first regular session of the 129th Legislature. Over the past six months several stakeholders have held a series of meetings to improve and strengthen the bill.

According to data from AARP, approximately 46 percent of private-sector workers in Maine — about 235,000 people — do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings program. 

A 2017 report published by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine states that, “Inadequate savings for retirement creates fiscal costs due to increased elderly reliance on public assistance … Simulations show that increasing retirement income through greater preretirement savings can substantially reduce the need for taxpayer contributions for public assistance.”

Sen. Vitelli will be joined by Lori Parham, State Director of AARP Maine; Barbara Babkirk, an AARP member and owner of Heart at Work Associates; and Mark Iwry, nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury; and others. Iwry is the principal architect of the state-facilitated IRA concept and related legislation. Babkirk specializes in helping Mainers 50 years of age and older find new employment opportunities.

WHAT: Press event to promote Maine retirement savings legislation

WHO: Sen. Eloise Vitelli; Lori Parham of AARP Maine; Barbara Babkirk of Heart at Work Associates; Mark Iwry of Brookings Institute

WHEN: noon Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020

WHERE: Welcome Center, Maine State House