NCLR: New Law Would Make Access to Retirement Plan a Reality for Almost 7 Million Workers in California

Legislation now awaits governor’s signature

September 1, 2016

Camila Gallardo
(305) 215-4259


LOS ANGELES—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauded the passage of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program implementation bill, S.B. 1234, a bill that would allow workers access to state-run Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). Companies with five or more employees would automatically be enrolled and those who opt to stay in the program would contribute 3 percent of their earnings to their own IRA. Workers’ savings made through these individual accounts would supplement Social Security or any other personal savings. The bill would help 6.8 million Californian workers, two-thirds of whom are people of color.

“Retirement plans have been out of reach for too many hardworking American families who face uncertainty and apprehension at a time when they should be enjoying the fruits of their years of laboring in the workforce. This new law would provide an important opportunity for workers to better prepare for a secure economic future and we urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill into law and provide greater economic security to millions of Californians, many of whom are Latino,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

NCLR has worked closely with a network of Affiliate groups in the state to ensure that working Latinos have access to a viable retirement plan; 3.5 million would be eligible for Secure Choice. In a 2015 report, NCLR found that 77 percent of workers (more than 4.5 million) employed by businesses with fewer than 100 employees do not have access to a workplace retirement plan. California is just one of 20 states considering implementing a state-based retirement program to help workers prepare for a more economically secure retirement.

Governor Brown has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.