WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 11, 2013) – Maine Senator Susan Collins has signed on as a co-sponsor to bipartisan legislation aimed at helping more Americans gain retirement savings and security through private employee ownership. A survey released in March by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 28% of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably—the highest level in the study’s 23-year history.
“Private employee ownership has provided a resilient foundation for Lifetouch during good times and bad. Employee-owned companies harness the entrepreneurial spirit of every employee and through demonstrated higher productivity provide outstanding retirement savings,” said Chad Schnyder, Territory Manager for Lifetouch National School Studios in Gardiner, Maine.
“This bill and Senator Collins support will make it possible for more residents of Maine, and the entire United States, to enjoy the amazing opportunities for good jobs and better retirements,” added Steve Suckow, Senior Vice President of Lifetouch.
The Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2013 (S.742) eliminates barriers that a business and its owners currently face in establishing a new S corporation ESOP or expanding the employee-ownership stake in an S corporation. Previous studies have shown that employees of S corporations with employee stock ownership plans (S ESOPs) have retirement account balances three to five times higher than the average 401 (k) or other defined contribution plans.
Among the provisions in the bill, which is supported by the Employee-owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), are measures that will:
Encourage owners of S corporations to sell their stock to an ESOP, provide needed technical assistance for companies that may be interested in forming an S ESOP, ensure small ESOP-owned businesses retain their SBA eligibility when employee ownership of the company expands, and affirm the importance of preserving the S ESOP structure in the Internal Revenue Code.
Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the bill additional co-sponsors of this legislation include: Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Jon Tester (D-MT)
S ESOPs are building our economy and giving hard-working Americans retirement security. Some notable S ESOP companies with locations in Maine include: CCMSI, Ferrellgas, HDR, Inc., HNTB, Lifetouch, Inc. and PC Construction Company
The Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (“ESCA”) is the Washington, DC voice for employee-owned S corporations. ESCA’s exclusive mission is to preserve and protect S corporation ESOPs and the benefits they provide to the employees who own them. These companies have an important story to tell policymakers about the tremendous success of the S ESOP structure in generating long-term retirement savings for working Americans and their families. ESCA provides the vehicle and the voice for these efforts. ESCA represents employee-owners in every state in the nation.