Del. EARNS Retirement Program Now Law – What’s Next?

The Delaware EARNS Act is now law.

Businesses with more than five employees that do not currently offer a retirement plan would be required to take part in the “Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Savings” program, through a payroll process. Governor John Carney signed the legislation, House Bill 205, Thursday.

State Treasurer Colleen Davis said the office will hire an executive director to work with the Delaware EARNS Program Board to oversee design and implementation of the program.

According to State Representative Larry Lambert, D- Claymont, almost 150,000 Delawareans employed by small businesses currently do not have access to an employer-sponsored savings program.

“We’ve worked long and hard to make this program a reality for Delawareans who lack access to an employer-sponsored retirement program,” Davis said. “I am grateful to Representative Larry Lambert, Senator Nicole Poore, all of their colleagues in the General Assembly, the AARP of Delaware, and of course the Governor for helping us get here.”

“It shouldn’t matter what your background or job is: every Delawarean deserves the opportunity to enter into retirement with economic dignity and security,” Lambert said. “For small businesses and the almost 150,000 Delaware workers lacking an employer-sponsored saving program, the Delaware EARNS program will be financially transformative, allowing residents to save for the future while filling a critical need in the marketplace. This new program will put thousands of working Delawareans on a level playing field when it comes to their financial future, and I am excited to see it in action.”

“The pandemic has shown how vital it is for Americans to have savings to depend on. We must make it easier for workers to save so they can take control of their future,” AARP Delaware State Director Lucretia Young said. “AARP was pleased to work alongside our State Treasurer to help provide an easy pathway for workers to start building a safety net and grow the savings they need for a more secure future.”