State Lawmakers to Reintroduce HERO Bill

Indiana-Statehouse-6-265x300Saving up for retirement could become a little easier for Hoosiers. State lawmakers plan to reintroduce the Hoosier Employee Retirement Option (HERO) bill when the legislative session starts January 5.

Representative Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) explains how the plan would work, “This bill will set up an online portal that will be hosted, we hope, by the Secretary of State’s Office, but that detail is still being worked on. This online portal will allow small business owners and their employees to be connected to a private retirement savings plan or a list of those [places] that would offer these type of plans.”

He says right now, many employees of small business don’t have access to those savings options. “This plan is geared toward small business owners, those that employ 100 or less, and we know that close to 50 percent of workers here in Indiana don’t have access to a retirement savings plan,” he says. “And so, this would allow those workers to be connected to a plan. And the small business owners that we’re talking about, 75 percent of them don’t offer a plan.”

Eberhart says that according to a survey done by AARP, 84 percent of small business owners would offer a plan if the proposed online portal were available. He says the proposal aims to give more people access to retirement plans, using the private plans that are already available. “We’re not creating anything new here,” he says. “We’re just putting forth a way to connect those current private plans to the employees, so they can start saving. So there will be no involvement from the state, except for hosing the portal and setting the portal up.”

The HERO bill is getting major support from AARP Indiana. A version was introduced during the 2015 session but did not advance.