Dems: Two ideas to help more Iowans save for retirement

January 24, 2018
By

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  January 24, 2018

 

Statement and background from State Senator Nate Boulton

“Last year, and again this year, the Republican agenda continues to focus on stripping away benefits and weakening retirement security from public employees. That’s the wrong approach. Instead, Iowa should focus on helping more employees across Iowa, public and private, improve their quality of life and their standard of living.

“That’s exactly what these two bills would do. My remarks will focus on SF 2087. It instructs the Department of Workforce Development to look into a portable benefits program for nontraditional workers and independent contractors. These workers are usually ineligible for health care and other employment-related benefits.

“This legislation helps fix what Iowa business leaders say is the number one problem preventing them from expanding in Iowa: our state’s shortage of skilled workers. Taken together, these two bills will help Iowa attract and retain the quality workforce we need to make Iowa’s economic future as bright as possible.”

 

SF 2087, www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=87&ba=SF2087

SF 2088, www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=87&ba=SF%202088

-End Statement-

 

BACKGROUND – SF 2087: Portable Benefits Study Bill

Problem

Our economy and workforce is changing. Increasingly we have a workforce that are nontraditional workers, who are not classified as “employees” but as independent contractors. This new economy is an on-demand economy, a gig economy. Gig economy workers could work in the technology field or maybe they are drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber.

These workers do not have access to benefits to help when they get hurt on the job, or healthcare, or even retirement savings. All workers deserve economic security.

What if there was  way to provide a safety net to these employees?

What if a fund was set up that would provide healthcare, or benefits if they get hurt, or even retirement security?

 

Bill Summary

Requires the Department of Workforce Development in consultation with the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to conduct a study assessing the feasibility of establishing a portable benefits program for workers not classified as employees by their employers. These workers are generally ineligible for health care, workers’ compensation, and pension related benefits that are otherwise provided to employees.

The study shall consider who should administer a portable benefits program, what type of benefits, what level of benefits, and a method of financing the benefits. Iowa Workforce Development shall report back to the General Assembly by November of 2018.

There are major problems with employers misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they should be employees. This bill is not about addressing that problem, there are still legal avenues to correct that major issue. This bill is about giving a safety net to our workers in the state.

 

A Senator Just Introduced The First Ever National Gig Economy Bill
https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/a-senator-just-introduced-the-first-ever-national-gig?utm_term=.naEB3VrRA#.foqjgvM74

Portable Benefits Bill Could Hit Before End of March, Warner Says
https://www.bna.com/portable-benefits-bill-n57982085587/

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