Small Businesses See Lack of Retirement Security

A poll shows 70% of small-business owners see threats to business and the economy from the lack of retirement security.

“Small-Business Owners’ Views on Retirement Security,” released by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Main Street Alliance, found only one-third (33%) of small-business owners currently offer a retirement plan. Most owners (63%) cited cost as their biggest barrier. However, almost as many (60%) said they were interested in offering a plan.

“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.”

Richard Eidlin, director for Public Policy for ASBC, added: “This polling shows that small-business owners think that current options for offering a retirement plan are too costly. It follows that any proposed federal solutions must be low cost and easy to administer if they are to be adopted broadly.”

Commenting on the poll results, U.S. 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.” Harkin has put forth a proposal to solve the retirement security crisis (see "Retirement Plan Would Be a Win-Win for Working Families, Employers").

The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the American Sustainable Business Council and the Main Street Alliance. Owners of small businesses (with two to 99 employees) were polled by telephone between March 14 and 25. Respondents were also politically and geographically diverse.

The full poll results can be found here.