U.S. Labor Secretary Perez joins Maryland legislators, labor leaders to announce retirement study commission

The movement to deliver retirement security to more workers got another boost Tuesday from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Maryland lawmakers. Perez joined legislators, business and labor leaders to announce members of the Commission on Maryland Retirement Security and Savings. The legislative and private-sector commission was created to explore ways to improve retirement security for Maryland workers.

“We want to make sure on a federal level that we are partnering with you so that we can address this looming crisis together,” Perez told lawmakers and commission members. “The goal here is to promote savings and we want to make sure we provide these opportunities.”

Perez also recognized the contributions of SEIU and labor groups have made in addressing retirement insecurity around the country. In 2012, SEIU members played an instrumental role in the passage of a bill to study and create the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, the nation’s first state-administered retirement savings program for private-sector workers. Roughly half of the U.S. states are working to create similar plans.

In a statement, SEIU Local 500 President Merle Cuttitta applauded the Maryland commission for taking the bold step of addressing the retirement crisis threatening our families.

“Marylanders are working harder than ever, contributing to the prosperity our state enjoys but are still likely to retire in poverty simply because they don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. That’s not right. Every worker deserves an opportunity to retire with dignity after a lifetime of working hard and playing by the rules.”

·         Read coverage of Tuesday’s event from the Baltimore Sun and Pensions & Investments.

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