Bill Description: House Bill 180 inserts state government into the business of private retirement by establishing a new program, board, funds, and other expansions of government.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
House Bill 180 creates Chapter 97, Title 67, Idaho Code to institute a massive expansion of government known as the "Idaho Work and Save for Retirement Program."
House Bill 180 establishes the "work and save for retirement program fund" in the state treasury to receive and hold "retirement contributions from covered employees."
House Bill 180 establishes the "work and save for retirement administrative fund" in the state treasury. This distinct fund will receive and hold money appropriated "by the legislature to facilitate the planning, initiation, and operation of the program."
House Bill 180 establishes a 9-member "Idaho work and save for retirement program board" to, among other things, "design, develop, implement, maintain, govern, and promulgate rules with respect to a contribution retirement program for covered employers that do not provide a retirement program and for covered employees."
Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?
In addition to creating a massive expansion of government, House Bill 180 puts the state of Idaho — through the Idaho Work and Save for Retirement Program — into direct competition with the private sector. Dozens of banks and financial institutions offer a wide variety of retirement programs, accounts, and other financial instruments to consumers of all income levels. There is no reason why the state of Idaho should insert itself into this active and competitive sector of the economy.
It is worth noting that the Idaho Work and Save for Retirement Program is not envisioned as a small program simply made available to those who seek it out. The board is given the responsibility of developing and implementing "ongoing strategies and outreach activities ... to disseminate materials for covered employer and employee information and education about the program."
The fiscal note for House Bill 180 projects its "work and save for retirement program fund" to have collected more than $2.2 billion from 193,000 active accounts in a little over a decade.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
House Bill 180 empowers the Idaho work and save for retirement program board to "set and collect necessary fees from covered employees for application processing, account management, or administrative duties of the program."
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
The fiscal note for House Bill 180 claims that the Idaho Work and Save for Retirement Program will be "revenue neutral after eleven years." In the meantime, however, it will require "approximately $400,000 per year for up to four years" for "development and roll-out." The projections for reaching revenue neutrality are based on the belief that nearly 200,000 Idahoans will eventually conclude that turning their private retirement savings over to the government is a good idea.
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