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AARP To Lobby State For Workers’ Retirement Policy

AARP volunteers head to the Virginia General Assembly next week to ask legislators to start a program to help workers save for retirement.

With more than 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ in the Commonwealth. When lawmakers head to the capitol next week, AARP Virginia advocates will ask them to pass legislation to help workers save for retirement with a Work and Save Plan.

AARP Senior Vice President John Hishta will be joining AARP volunteers at the Virginia General Assembly when legislators return to work Jan. 11. Hishta and the volunteers will visit lawmakers to promote AARP Virginia’s 2017 legislative agenda.

“AARP Virginia is fighting to put a secure retirement within reach for people who work hard and plan for their future,” said AARP Virginia State President Melvin Evans. “Many Virginians have no money in retirement savings accounts nor have any type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. AARP advocates for enactment of a Work and Save plan that provides a convenient way for people to save for retirement through payroll deduction.”

Delegate Luke Torian (D) is sponsoring legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senator Frank Ruff (R) is sponsoring a Senate bill to create a retirement program for workers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan. Similar to 401(k) plans or IRAs (individual retirement accounts), workers would have the option of saving for retirement through payroll deduction.

AARP’s other legislative priorities for 2017 include:
Long-Term Services and Supports: Many long-term care recipients are medically or emotionally too frail to speak up for themselves. The state Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which acts as the voice for these individuals to resolve care problems, has never been fully funded to meet the minimum staffing ratio set by the General Assembly as one Ombudsman to every 2,000 nursing home and assisted living beds. AARP Virginia advocates for $2.1 million to be appropriated to meet the state standard; this amount includes $289,721 to provide an Ombudsman response to recipients of home and community based services.

Family Caregivers: AARP Virginia supports the establishment of a committee to study issues related to family caregivers and long-term supports and services and report findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and Governor. The state and stakeholders must develop methods to encourage and support family caregivers to assist their aging relatives and develop ways to recruit and retain a qualified, in-home care workforce.

Ensure Budget Cuts Don’t Hurt Vulnerable Virginians: We continue to monitor budget proposals to be sure that decisions are fair to all generations and do not place an unnecessary hardship on vulnerable Virginians.

For more information, contact David DeBiasi at or (804) 344-3059.

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