Colorado's new retirement plan gets 'powerhouse' financial services companies

The Colorado State Treasurer named the two financial services firms that will manage the state’s new retirement savings program called Colorado SecureSavings.

BlackRock will handle the global equity portion of the program while State Street Global Advisors will administer the money market, target date and fixed-income asset classes, according to Treasurer spokeswoman Sheena Kadi via email.

Unlike traditional retirement savings programs, like 401(k) accounts, the SecureSavings program is not tied to an employer. It’s designed for the 1 million or so workers in the state who have no access to retirement savings programs, like private sector workers who work part time, are self-employed or are “gig economy” workers and seasonal ones.

“Everyone deserves a dignified and sustainable retirement. Today is the start of an exciting, new chapter for Colorado workers,” said Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young in a news release. “Soon, employees across the state will be able to take their first steps in closing their retirement gap, while accessing the best and brightest in the investment management space.”

A pilot program for businesses and employees from across the state begins in October. Full plan implementation will begin in January.

BlackRock and State Street were the only two bidders during the procurement process.

“We’re excited that these international powerhouses are joining the team,” Kadi said.

“Providing access to a retirement plan is a critical step to helping more people build long-term financial well-being,” said Anne Ackerley, head of retirement at BlackRock, in a news release. “We look forward to serving the great state of Colorado through this innovative partnership, and we’re proud to help more Coloradans retire with dignity on their own terms.”

Colorado’s program also signed a “first-in-the country” memorandum of cooperation with New Mexico Work and $ave to “pursue a formalized partnership agreement for their auto-enroll IRA programs.”

“This allows small and medium businesses to be competitive with a full benefits compensation package,” according to the release. “Employers will have the option of sponsoring their own plans, or simply enrolling in the Colorado SecureSavings Program.”

For more information, visit the program’s website at treasury.colorado.gov.

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