New initiative will help small businesses offer workplace retirement plans


By Linda McMahon

Bob Hulchanski owns a machine shop in upstate New York and says offering a workplace retirement plan to his 11 full-time employees is a priority.

“The reason we do a 401(k) is because we really care about our employees, ” he said. “We know most Americans are not saving enough for retirement.”

I visited Lakeside Innovative Technologies in Chittenango, NY, last week. The company manufactures parts for the military, as well as the electronics, medical and automotive industries. Hulchanski got an SBA-guaranteed loan to help start the business in 2007, and he says he’s on track to have his best year yet. Business is booming with new orders coming in, so he’s looking to hire three more employees to keep up with the workload. He notes that applicants are looking for jobs with retirement benefits.

“It’s always one of the top questions potential employees ask – do you have a 401(k) and do you match? We’re proud to be able to say we do.”

Under an executive order President Trump announced today, even more small businesses will be able to offer workplace retirement plans to their employees. It simplifies and reduces the regulatory hurdles that right now prevent millions of small businesses from providing retirement benefits. It would allow U.S. businesses to create 401(k)-type “multiple employer plans, ” allowing employers and employees to benefit from economies of scale and reduced costs compared to having their own separate 401(k)-type retirement plans.

As I travel the country meeting with small business owners, I often hear they’d like to be able to provide a retirement savings plan for their employees but it is incredibly difficult to set up and expensive to administer. And the smaller the business, the more unlikely it is to be able to absorb the high costs inherent in administering the plans. Right now only about half of private-sector workers in places with fewer than 100 employees even have access to workplace retirement plans. This action will directly address that problem by making it easier for employers to offer the benefit. As a result, more employees will be able to save for retirement and share in the benefits of our growing economy.

With a 401(k)-type of plan, a small business can not only provide a valued employee benefit but also take advantage of special tax incentives. Bob Hulchanski is so committed to ensuring his employees have a secure retirement that his company contributes 3% of their salaries to their 401(k) accounts even if the employees themselves don’t contribute at all.

“We see it as an opportunity to give the employees a benefit that in some cases they don’t even understand how good of a benefit it is, ” he said. “We feel really good about that.”


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