Year of Publication

2019

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

State-run retirement plans for non-covered private sector employees are a rapidly growing area of state policy. Since 2010, the majority of states in the U.S. have moved to either examine, enact, or implement these plans. This policy intends to increase private savings in an effort to reduce future reliance on public assistance and Social Security. Despite the current public policy interest, there is a lack of research evaluating the impact of plans or common state characteristics that are associated movement in this policy area. This capstone focuses on answering the latter question. Using state-level demographic, pension, welfare, and policy data, this paper statistically analyzes which factors may influence states’ movement to examine staterun retirement plans and which factors may play a role in states enacting these plans.

Key findings include:

  • States with higher percentages of their populations living at 100-149% of the poverty level have a higher probability of seeing a state-run retirement plan proposed, studied, or enacted.
  • States with Democratic governors have a higher probability of seeing a state-run retirement plan proposed or studied.
  • States with higher poverty rates and higher percentages of their populations living below 100% of the poverty level have a decreased probability of seeing a state-run retirement plan proposed, studied, or enacted.

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