House Bill 44, the New Mexico Work and Save Act, creating a voluntary, state-sponsored savings program for small business, self-employed, and nonprofit employees in the private sector, has passed the House.
Sponsored by Rep. Tomas Salazar (D-Las Vegas), Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Sen. Michael Padilla (D-Albuquerque) and Sen. Bill Tallman (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 44 addresses the statewide gap in retirement savings by encouraging employers to offer their employees access to a Roth retirement savings plan. Some 62 percent of private sector workers in New Mexico work for businesses that do not currently offer a retirement plan.
“It’s important for all New Mexicans to learn how to save early in their working careers and to have the mechanisms in place to sustain and uplift them through their post-working years,” said Chandler. “With House Bill 44, we are giving New Mexicans the boost they need to become financially secure long before retirement.”
New Mexico’s retirees are in a financial crisis, with 50 percent of all older New Mexicans relying on Social Security income for more than half of their family income. Social Security benefits average only about $1,160 per month or $13,900 a year in New Mexico which is at or near the poverty line for many families. House Bill 44 seeks to help all New Mexicans build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their families.
House Bill 44 passed the House floor and now moves on to the Senate for consideration.