WASHINGTON – Look to employee ownership to strengthen retirement security, said Doug Bawel, Chairman and CEO of Indiana-based, 100 percent employee-owned Jasper Holdings in a new op-ed for the Dubois County Herald.
With retirement savings at the top of many families’ minds, “one group of Americans is faring far better than others in this regard: those who work at employee-owned private businesses,” writes Bawel.
Bawel pointed to a new study by Ernst & Young (EY) that “found that over the last two decades, employee-owners at S corporation ESOP companies have enjoyed returns that beat the stock market, outperforming the S&P 500 by a third since 2002 as the number of participants in these plans has increased by 286 percent.” Bawel also noted that “S ESOP companies have more than twice the average retirement savings as their non-S ESOP peers” and highlighted a study by the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) that found businesses with ESOPs “provided greater financial security for employees heading into and during the pandemic.”
“At Jasper Holdings, a 100 percent employee-owned business…our ESOP has indeed been a game-changer,” noted Bawl about his company’s retirement plan. “Last year, our plan outperformed 90 percent of publicly traded companies in the marketplace and set a record for gains. Like most S ESOP companies, we also provide a 401K option in which we have invested $245 million for our employees.”
While the success of S ESOP plans and their benefits to both employers and workers is clear, Bawel called on Congress to take steps to “extend the benefits of employee ownership to more American workers,” noting that “bipartisan legislation is currently pending in both the U.S. House and Senate that would provide incentives for American companies to create employee ownership programs and provide needed technical assistance for companies that may be interested in forming an S ESOP.”
Like all American businesses, Bawel noted that his company too has “felt the impacts of supply chain disruptions and material and labor shortages over the past year” but credited the company’s success and ability to overcome challenges to its employee-owners. “We are proud to offer our employees the opportunity to take ownership of our success as a company and plan for a better retirement and financial future,” said Bawel.
To read Doug Bawel’s full op-ed in the Dubois County Herald, CLICK HERE.
To learn more about the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), CLICK HERE.