Maine is close to becoming one of just a few states in the country to provide a retirement savings program to workers who don’t have access to one through their jobs.

Public Retirement Plan

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill advancing the retirement savings program on July 25. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

The Maine Retirement Savings Program is designed to provide a way for Maine residents to contribute to a Roth individual retirement account directly from their paychecks. Workers would retain the account from job to job until they retire.

At least six other states have similar programs, Maine officials have said.

A pilot version of the program is slated to start this fall, said Democratic Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic in a statement. The full program is expected to be phased in through January 2026.

“It is critical that this program succeed so that all Mainers can have a financially secure and stable retirement,” Vitelli said.

Nearly half of Maine’s private sector workers don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings program, supporters say, and more than a quarter of the country’s working-age adults have no retirement savings at all.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill advancing the program on July 25. The bill makes numerous tweaks to the program, including increasing the maximum amount employees can contribute from 8% to 10% of their salary or wages per year.

Other changes to the program are intended to make it easier for businesses to sign up for it. The program allows businesses that don’t offer a retirement plan to facilitate the deduction from an employee’s paycheck.

AARP Maine testified in support of the changes during a public hearing. The organization is “eager to see the Maine Retirement Savings Program up and running so that all Mainers will be able to adequately save for their retirement,” said Alf Anderson, associated state director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Maine.

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