State Senator Champions Nonprofit Pensions

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June 22, 2011; Source: | Massachusetts State Senator Catherine Clark announced in her hometown paper this week that there may be legislation in the works to help nonprofit employees build retirement savings. Faced with a recent study by the Boston Foundation that says only 56 percent of the state’s nonprofits offer their workers any kind of pension plan, Clark writes,

“This past week, the Committee on Public Service, that I chair, held a hearing on An Act to provide retirement options for nonprofit organizations. This legislation would allow nonprofit employees to make voluntary contributions to a 457 deferred compensation plan that would be overseen by the Treasurer’s Office.

The infrastructure to manage these plans already exists under the umbrella of the Treasurer’s Office. As a result, there would be no additional cost to the State, but the benefit to our Massachusetts nonprofit employees would be significant. The retirement contribution plan would be similar to the state’s SMART (Save Money and Retire Tomorrow) Plan. Contributions would be made pre-tax and pooled together to increase returns for employees.”

Clark says this is part of an ongoing attempt to pay more attention to Massachusetts nonprofits. “Recently, I joined the newly created Nonprofit Caucus in the state house that was formed to help support our small local nonprofits. The caucus aims to give legislators a united voice as they work on behalf of our small nonprofits to provide services and programs protecting our most vulnerable populations.”—Ruth McCambridge