Nevada is the latest to pass a state-run retirement savings program for private-sector employees. The Nevada Assembly passed the bill, SB305, on Sunday by a vote of 35-7. It’s now up to Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo to sign the bill.
Introduced by Senate Chief Majority Whip Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas) on March 16, it would establish the Nevada Employee Savings Trust.
In April, the American Retirement Association (ARA) sent a letter supporting the legislation. It, in part, said:
“The ARA believes that Senate Bill No. 305 strikes the proper balance to close the retirement plan coverage gap in the private sector workforce to the greatest extent possible while imposing the minimum possible burden on Nevada’s employers. Senate Bill No. 305 requires all private sector employers with an electronic payroll system in the State of Nevada to offer a retirement plan to their employees. Senate Bill No. 305 ensures that any type of retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, satisfies the requirement. Further, Senate Bill No. 305 creates a state-facilitated IRA-based retirement program designed to be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This approach will not force the state to compete with the many existing retirement plan products in the marketplace.”
Regarding the May 29 Senate vote, ARA Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs Andrew Remo said, “The American Retirement Association is encouraged this bill is continuing to move through the process before the end of the session. There has been a lot of legislative action in the states the past few weeks to address retirement plan coverage, and we welcome Nevada to the party!”
What the Bill Would Do
The bill would create a Board of Trustees of the Nevada Employee Savings Trust and prescribe its membership, powers, duties, and limitations of the board. It also would create the Nevada Employee Savings Trust Administrative Fund and says that the money in the Fund would solely be used to pay the administrative costs and expenses of the board and the program.
The Board. The bill would give the board the authority to:
1. design, establish and operate the Nevada Employee Savings Trust Program; and
2. adopt regulations, rules, and procedures for the establishment and operation of the program and to take other actions necessary or desirable to establish and operate the program.
SB305 also would require the board to prepare informational materials, disclosure statements, forms, and instructions concerning the program for distribution by covered employers to covered employees.
The legislation provides that members of the board, the trustee, and certain other persons involved in the administration of the trust are fiduciaries regarding the participants in the program.
Employers. SB305 provides that covered employers must automatically enroll all covered employees in the program or in a similar program offered by a trade association or chamber of commerce. Through the program, money would be withheld from a covered employee’s compensation and contributed to an IRA at a contribution rate set by the board.
Employees. Covered employees would be enrolled in the program automatically. They also could:
- opt out;
- change the contribution rate; and
- withdraw contributions to meet a financial or other emergency.
Funds. The bill would require that the assets of all IRAs established by covered employees through the program be allocated to the trust and invested, managed, and administered for the exclusive purposes of providing benefits to the covered employees and defraying the reasonable expenses of the board, program, and trust. SB305 also would establish certain investment guidelines and practices.