We want all Americans to

retire with dignity.

We’re building a grassroots movement to create

universal retirement plans for all! 
Now more than ever is the time to...

It's hard to retire

We need guaranteed retirement plans

The GRA plan

We propose Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) to help solve the exploding Financial Retirement Crisis.

The Key to Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) is to fund them with Sustainable Equity Contributions affordable for both employees and employers over one’s entire career.

The Only way to create Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) is to fund them with Sustainable Equity Contributions, affordable for all.

THE PROBLEM

People do not save adequately for (longer life) retirement…

Continuous exposure to marketing messages has us spending more and saving less.

Current employment and tax infrastructures do not adequately support sustainable retirement contributions.

Spiraling health costs are beyond reach and the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US.

A better system must be implemented to head off the “expanding retirement crisis.”

THE SOLUTION

SECUR™ Sustainable Equity Contributions for Universal Retirement

Developed initially by Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of The New School's Retirement Equity Lab, and Tony James of the Blackstone Group

We propose both employees and employers should contribute 1.5 % of a person's salary toward a Guaranteed Retirement Account (GRA). The account would be tax-free & interest-bearing for a total of 3% of a worker's salary contributed to a retirement account.

With SECUR™, Contributions of 1.5 % per month are sustainable over the long term and easily affordable for both employee and employer! The small percentage will not cause immediate economic disruptions and will PREVENT millions of financial difficulties in later life.

Employers or employees can contribute more if they wish. All workers would also receive an annual tax credit equal to 1.5 percent of pay, up to $600. The $600 would be enough to fully offset the employee contribution for workers earning $40,000 a year or less.

Retirement is something to plan for and enjoy.

Workplace retirement plans are the easiest way for workers to save...

and GRAs ensure all people have a retirement plan at work. Most households that lack access to a retirement savings plan at work have no savings in an Individual Retirement Account.5 Many businesses do not offer retirement plans: Some 40 million full-time, full-year private-sector workers ages 18 to 64 lack access to an employer-based retirement plan.

Sign our petition calling on Congress to fight for a dignified retirement for all!

Together, we can build an America where

everyone can have a secure retirement.

How did we get here?

The push for a federal retirement plan builds on activity in the states. This state leadership is reminiscent of what happened in the 1930s with Social Security: In response to a nationwide crisis of older people falling into poverty, states began providing limited pensions. By the time the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, 30 states had implemented such programs (McSteen 1985). Over the last decade, states frustrated with the lack of action to reform retirement at the federal level have taken matters into their own hands. Ten states have enacted laws designed to improve retirement security, and many more have introduced legislation (AARP 2019). The states with laws in place are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

 

However, state efforts are constrained. State plans are unable to ensure that employers contribute to their employees' retirement. To ensure employer contributions, a federal program—such as the GRA plan—is required.

 

Also, the state plans created thus far aren't portable across states, leaving workers in large parts of the country unprotected. The GRA plan would ensure that workers are covered nationwide, and that coverage is seamless regardless of where they work or live.

GRAs offer those Americans who don't currently have access to a retirement plan the means to establish the firm financial footing they need to live safely and securely into old age. In doing so, GRAs can change the lives of American workers for the better.

 

American workers of all ages are in need of a retirement plan that grows with every dollar earned—whether in long-term jobs or freelance work, at small businesses or large—and that provides steady income that lasts for the duration of retirement. The current system not only leaves many workers out altogether, but it also magnifies inequality through unequal employer contributions, investment options, and strategies that vary greatly in terms of fees and risk-adjusted returns, and tax subsidies tilted in favor of high earners.

 

These challenges leave policymakers with two options: ignore the looming retirement crisis happening in their backyard or take action now to show that universal workplace retirement savings are feasible.

We don’t have a system that makes it easy to save. For instance, when Oregon set up a system that made it easy to save, 75% of citizens put 5% of their salary into the state run IRA.

Kathleen Kennedy, Townsend

Our Plan

Guaranteed Retirement Accounts are a key policy solution to the retirement crisis

  • Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) are universal, affordable, and portable accounts that provide workers with a monthly paycheck in retirement that lasts the rest of their lives.

  • Every person who works for an employer that does not offer them a retirement plan would contribute 1.5 percent of every paycheck to a GRA, which would be matched by their employer. The employer match would be vested immediately.

  • People who are self-employed would be automatically enrolled as well. All workers would also receive an annual tax credit equal to 1.5 percent of pay, up to $600. The $600 would be enough to fully offset the employee contribution for workers earning $40,000 a year or less.

  • The account would be portable, even if a worker crosses state lines for a new job.

  • Workers would choose from a list of vetted investment managers with well-diversified portfolios and competitive fees. All funds would be pooled and managed together rather than in individually directed accounts to reduce overhead costs.

  • Upon retirement, a participating worker would receive a monthly check for the rest of the worker’s life. An average earner who retires at age 67 would be able to supplement a Social Security benefit of $38,000 per year with an estimated GRA benefit of around $13,000 per year, expressed in today’s dollars—increasing retirement income by roughly a third.

  • Universal worker savings accounts are a tried and tested idea that have worked well in a variety of countries, including Australia. GRAs are also an incredibly popular idea in the United States: In a recent nationwide poll, the vast majority of respondents — including 78 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans, and 86 percent of millennials — supported this plan4 (AFT 2018).

  • Guaranteed Retirement Accounts bridge the gap for workers who lack employer-provided retirement benefits and can change workers’ lives for the better.

Sign our petition calling on Congress to fight for a dignified retirement for all!

It is finally time to come to grips with the fact that half of all businesses don’t have a savings plan for their employees. The GRA makes it easy for workers to save, take their savings from job to job, and have a monthly paycheck when they retire. Workers deserve peace of mind about old age. This will help.

 

Brian Kettenring

Co-Executive Director
Center for Popular Democracy

America’s hardworking families should be able to retire with dignity and independence after a lifetime of work. That is why Social Security Works is working tirelessly to expand Social Security, while restoring it to long-range actuarial balance. That is also why we appreciate the work of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and so many of our other colleagues who are fighting with us to ensure that all of us are able to retire with enough income to maintain our standards of living in old age when our work is done.

Nancy J. Altman

President, Social Security Works

All workers should have the same retirement security and peace of mind that teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public employees have earned and have fought hard to maintain. Ghilarducci and James’s plan for universal, prefunded, secure-for-life pensions—supplements to Social Security—is a great exemplar of how to achieve a secure retirement.

 

Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers

The Key to GRA Retirement Accounts

Fund them with Sustainable Equity Contributions for Universal Retirement (SECUR™) and establish additional continuous equity contributions to these accounts

SECUR

The Guaranteed Retirement Account plan

Additional equity contributions for renters

What other
states do

Here's what they're doing

What other countries do

Here's what Australia is doing

Sign our petition calling on Congress to fight for a dignified retirement for all!

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