Retirement Security

​​​​​​On September 16, 2019, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #45 creating the Governor's Task Force on Retirement Security and addressing the growing crisis of retirement security in the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s aging population is expected to increase by 60% by 2030, yet currently, one in seven registered voters in Wisconsin have no way to save for retirement at work.​​​

The Governor and the Treasurer believe hard-working Wisconsinites deserve to have peace of mind and feel secure when they retire. By listening to people across Wisconsin, the Governor’s Task Force on Retirement Security explored ways to ensure people can adequately save.

​“When we started this task force, Wisconsin was facing a retirement crisis, and the impact of COVID-19 has only made things worse and exposed the financial fragility far too many Wisconsinites face,” said Treasurer Godlewski. “The solutions laid out in our Retirement Security Task Force report will ensure Wisconsinites are more financially resilient and can retire with dignity as we rebuild our economy.”​

The long-term financial health of Wisconsin is at risk if no action is taken. Projected expenditures on senior programs (i.e. Medicaid, Homestead Tax Credit, Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program and Supplemental Security Income) are estimated to be $4.7 billion annually by 2030 an increase of $3.5 billion from 2015.  If lower and moderate income households (up to $40,000/year) were to save 3% of their income through 2030, state expenditures in 2030 may decrease by $3.1 billion annually.

View Executive Order #45 here.​​

Recommendations Report

​​​On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, the Retirement Security Task Force announced five innovative, bipartisan, and cost-effective solutions to ensure Wisconsinites can retire with financial security and peace of mind. Read the full task force report below: 

Retirement Security Task Force Final Recommendations Report.pdf

The Task Force solutions represent a holistic approach to retirement savings and financial security, and feature the following proposals:

  • WisconsinSaves is a simple, plug-and-play auto-IRA enrollment program for Wisconsin businesses of all sizes, which would utilize best practices to extend access to retirement savings to nearly 1 million Wisconsinites who do not currently have access.
  • 401(K)IDS sets our future generations up for success by providing every child born in Wisconsin with a target-date investment account to build long-term wealth and provide meaningful financial education. Nearly 60,000 kids born each year would access the benefits of compound interest and a life-long savings tool they could use to build wealth, buy their first home, pay for education, and save for retirement.​
  • Emergency Savings structure that ensures Wisconsin workers have rainy day funds and don’t need to tap into retirement savings when the unexpected happens.
  • Incentivize Participation in Workplace Plans to encourage Wisconsin employers who currently offer retirement plans for employees to utilize auto-enrollment to maximize participation. 
  • Interactive E-Commerce Portal would serve as a centralized, trusted source of information for retirement savings and other financial needs.​

Task Force Membership​​​

Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer, Chair

Andrea Palm, Department of Health Services Secretary-designee

Pam McGillivray, Department of Workforce Development Designee, Chief Legal Counsel

Kara Pennoyer, Office of the Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff

Janis Ringhand, Wisconsin State Senator

Kathy Bernier, Wisconsin State Senator

Evan Goyke, Wisconsin State Representative

John Macco, Wisconsin State Representative (appointed January 2020)

Cindi Duchow, Wisconsin State Representative  (appointed Oct 2019 - January 2020)

Michael Williamson, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Executive Director, Retired

Sara Chandler, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Chief Legal Counsel

Michael Lauer, Service Employees International Union, State Director

J. Michael Collins, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security, Faculty Director

Jennifer Wickman, Cooperative Network, Director of Government Affairs

Lisa Lamkins, AARP Wisconsin, Advocacy Director

Maiyoua Thao, City of Appleton Alderperson for District 7

Guadalupe “Wally” Rendon, Educators Credit Union, Racine

Brenda Gebhardt, Gebhardt Financial, West Allis

Dr. Eve Hall, Milwaukee Urban League, President & CEO

Jim Blank, United Northeast Educators, Executive Director, Retired

Ron “Duff” Martin, Wisconsin Education Association Council, President



​Meeting Topic

​Hosts and/or Presenters


La Crosse Listening Session

Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Wisconsin Farmers Union

​​Milwaukee AARP & LGBTW Chamber Small Business Roundtable

​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Public Private Partnership

​​Retirement Security Task Force Launch

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Rep. Evan Goyke
​Lisa Lamkins, AARP
Dan Smith, President & CEO, Cooperative Network

​​Kenosha Listening Session

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Rep. Tip McGuire
​Rep. Tod Ohnstadt
Sen. Bob Wirch

​​Chippewa Falls Listening Session

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Chippewa Valley Technical College
​Sen. Kathy Bernier
Rep. Jodi Emerson

​​Meeting #1: Understanding the Retirement Security Crisis

​​​Governor Tony Evers
​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Mayor Eric Genrich, Green Bay
​David C. John, Senior Strategic Advisor, AARP
​Tarna Hunter, Employee Trust Funds
Jessie Gibbons & Mary Alice McGreevy, Legislative Reference Bureau

​​Meeting #2: Barriers to Employers and Individuals

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Dr. Eve Hall, Milwaukee Urban League
​Lisa Lamkins, AARP Wisconsin
​Steve Wendel and Stan Treger, Morningstar

​Small Business Testimonies: 
​Tom Gauthier, Adonai Employment
​Sharon Kevil, Forti LLC
​Chandra Miller, Starting Block

​Individual Testimonies:
​Jerry Lynn, Empower Retirement
​Johannah Karstadt, Professional Dimensions
​Pam Halbach, Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency
Emily Siegrist, Nurse Practictioner

​​Meeting #3: Impact of COVID-19 on Retirement Security

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Karen Biddle Andres, Aspen Institute
Angela Antonelli, Georgetown University

​​AARP Wisconsin Telephone Town Hall
Coronavirus Pandemic & Your Financial Security Listening Session

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Sam Wilson, AARP Wisconsin

Meeting #4: Systemic Inequities & Updated Approach

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Dr. Eve Hall, Milwaukee Urban League
Dr. J. Michael Collins, UW-Madison

​​Meeting #5: Committee Updates

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Presentations by Committee Chairs

​​​Virtual Presentation

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants

​​Meeting #6: Draft Recommendations

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Presentations by Committee Chairs

​​Meeting #7: Final Recommendations

​​​Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
​Presentations by Committee Chairs

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