Young people to Governor Cuomo: Help us save money

Letter to the editor

To The Editor:

We’ve heard it countless times from our parents and grandparents: saving money is essential for a secure future. It’s good advice – but, the times they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan notes. Unlike older generations, many working students or recent graduate like me are left without savings options. We aren’t even given as much as an option to set aside long-term savings through their workplace.

With tuition and student loan debt at record levels and an uncertain job market that no student or recent graduate can bank on, many young adults find it difficult to save. It is incumbent upon business and government leaders to do something to make it easier for young people to prepare for their future and give us access to the same financial opportunities many of them had.

Right now, roughly 60% of young people enter jobs that do not offer an option to set aside a portion of one’s paycheck in a tax-free, long-term, savings account. Most of those in our parents’ generation have access to such high-interest, long-term, tax-free savings plans like Roth I.R.A.’s and 401k’s. Most small businesses support this idea. 63% of them say that they would offer exactly this type of “Work and Save” plan to their employees, but cannot afford to do so.

Governor Cuomo has signaled that he is interested in the idea as well. Over the past year, he supported a commission to study the potential benefits of establishing a new “Work and Save” option. But he needs to hear from you, as well.

If Governor Cuomo hears from even of a fraction of the 3,507,000 working New Yorkers (a high proportion in the 18-34 age range) who are denied a “Work and Save” option, we’ll make significant progress towards securing real savings for young people today. It wouldn’t be because our parents or grandparents told us to either – but because we fought for, and won greater economic opportunity.

All New Yorkers should support this common sense approach to helping young people save for the future.

Stephanie Hanson

Buffalo State Student

NYPIRG Consumer Protection Project Leader

[email protected]