Small Business Owners Support Idea of Lifelong Pension

December 2, 2011 ( – Eighty-two percent of small business owners believe that employees should have a pension benefit for life. 
According to a survey released by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), seven out of 10 small business owners (69%) say they would be interested in adopting such a retirement plan for their own businesses.

NCPERS launched its Secure Choice Pension (SCP) proposal in September. The plan, which is modeled on the public pension system, would allow private-sector employers to provide workers with a guaranteed, lifetime retirement income that would be immune to stock market fluctuations and economic downturns.

Key findings from the NCPERS survey include: 

•  Small business owners support the SCP proposal, regardless of whether or not they already provide a retirement benefit to their employees. Among all small business owners, support ran at 82%. Support ran slightly higher among those who already offer retirement benefits, at 84%. Even among owners who offer no benefits, 80% supported the proposal.

•  Political affiliation did not have a significant impact on support for the SCP. Support among Democrats, who made up 31% of the respondents, was 82%. Support among Independents, who made up 36% of the respondents, was 84%. Support among Republicans, who made up 33% of the respondents, was 80%.

•  Three out of four small business owners who already offer retirement benefits (75%) expressed interest in adopting the SCP for their own employees. Fifty-nine percent of small business owners who currently offer no retirement benefits are interested adopting the SCP. Among all business owners, 69% expressed interest in offering the SCP to their employees.

•  The majority of small business owners (82%) agree that offering a retirement benefit helps to recruit and retain good employees.

•  More than half (56%) of small business owners worry about their own retirement security and 65% worry their employees will not have enough money to retire.

•  Seventy-three percent feel a responsibility to provide some kind of retirement benefit.

•  Most small business owners (83%) say their employees would like a more secure option for their retirement savings.

•  Fifty percent of small business owners say retirement benefits are too complicated to administer, while 63% say retirement plans are too expensive.

The survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group in mid-September among 500 small business owners.