On the heels of a Pew study revealing dwindling U.S. retirement preparedness, a new poll shows that 70% of small business owners see threats to business and the economy from the lack of retirement security. The national scientific poll was released today by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Main Street Alliance – two national business policy groups.
“For small business owners, addressing the retirement security crisis in America is not only about achieving the American Dream for ourselves – it’s also central to the success of our businesses and the overall economy,” said Deb Field, owner of Paperjam Press in Portland, Oregon, and a national steering committee member of the Main Street Alliance. “Increasing retirement security would fuel greater consumer demand on Main Street.”
And yet, the poll found only one-third of small business owners currently offer a retirement plan. Owners cited cost as their biggest barrier.
“This polling shows that small business owners think that current options for offering a retirement plan are too costly,” said Richard Eidlin, Director for Public Policy for ASBC. “It follows that any proposed federal solutions must be low cost and easy to administer if they are to be adopted broadly.”
In a silver lining for policy makers, the poll found a total of 60% of small business owners either offer or are interested in offering a plan.
Commenting on the poll results, Senator Tom Harkin said, “I commend ASBC and Main Street Alliance for their important contribution to the policy debate on retirement security. I look forward to using their work to develop practical solutions to the retirement crisis, including making it easier for business owners to provide high-quality, economical pension benefits to their employees.”