savings bill

The sponsor of Senate Bill 200 to created the Colorado Secure Savings Program were, from left, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Kerry Donovan, House Speaker KC Becker and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp.

A bill that got little attention against police reform, budget cutting and pandemic recover is a big one, AARP reminded its members Tuesday.

Senate Bill 200, called the Colorado Secure Savings Program, will ensure that everyone in the workforce has access to a way to save money for retirement, said the state's largest organization for retirees. 

“Colorado is facing a retirement savings crisis,” Kelli Fritts, AARP Colorado director of advocacy, said in a statement. “Social Security is a vital piece of the retirement puzzle, but it alone is not enough to depend on for a secure financial future.”

A bill last year created a study that led to this year's legislation. The program will cost some money to establish: $345,738 this year and $866,471 in the next budget year.

The professionally managed program savings plan is voluntary and workers can transfer it as they change employers.

AARP said the average Social Security benefit over 65 is only about $17,000 a year. "Older adults typically spend an average of $23,000 a year on food, utilities and health care," the organization said. "This crisis disproportionately impacts women and workers of color who are less likely to have access to a retirement savings option at work. With the passage of the Colorado Secure Savings Program, the Colorado Legislature took an essential step toward addressing this retirement savings crisis."

Senate Bill 200 passed the House, 61-24, last Friday and the upper chamber, 18-15, on June 6.

The bill was sponsored by Democrats — Sens. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood and Kerry Donovan of Vail, with House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp of Arvada.

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