State Retirement Savings Initiatives a Win-Win Opportunity

New York (1/23/17) — 

Private sector workers enhance their retirement security while the state saves on Medicaid costs.

With retirement savings falling short of what many workers need, several states have taken steps to establish workplace individual retirement account programs for workers who do not have access to an employer sponsored retirement plan. These states are also asking how a population better prepared for retirement would affect public safety-net programs. Of most interest, given its growing presence in state budgets, is Medicaid, where there are clear potential savings.

Segal Consulting conducted a review of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to estimate the impact of expanded retirement savings by individuals not currently participating in a retirement plan on future Medicaid expenditures. The analysis showed a positive correlation between increased retirement savings, sufficient to remove a percentage of currently vulnerable households from the poverty rolls by the time they retire, and a related reduction in Medicaid spending.

According to the study, every state had an estimated reduction in state Medicaid expenditures resulting from increased retirement savings from the first 10 years of the plan. Fifteen states would save more than $100 million each, with total projected savings approaching $5 billion. The savings ranged from $11 million (Mississippi) to $604.7 million (California).

“This study shows states could realize meaningful savings on Medicaid spending when a  retirement savings plan is  available  to all  private sector workers,” commented Cathie Eitelberg, senior vice president and Director of Public Sector Consulting at Segal. “The majority of jurisdictions have yet to consider this option, but should at least start to evaluate the feasibility of such a program from a cost/benefit perspective.”

For more information on this study or to speak with one of our consultants about it and to learn how states can turn it into action, please contact Todd Kohlhepp.

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Segal Consulting ( a member of The Segal Group, is a leading, independent firm of benefit, compensation and human resources consultants. Segal is headquartered in New York and has more than 1,000 employees throughout the U.S. and in Canada. Clients include state and local governments, corporations, non-profit organizations, professional service firms and joint boards of trustees administering pension and health and welfare plans under the Taft-Hartley Act.

The Segal Group ( is a private is a private benefits, compensation and investment consulting firm with more than 1,000 employees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Members of The Segal Group include: Segal Consulting, Sibson Consulting, Segal Select Insurance Services, Inc. and Segal Marco Advisors.

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