Valerie Ervin tackles retirement security in Maryland

Valerie Ervin, executive director of the Center for ValerieWorking Families, has been appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to the Governor’s Task Force to Ensure Retirement Security for All Marylanders.

“For Marylanders don’t have a vehicle or plan for saving for retirement, a state-backed plan is an answer for ensuring that residents can live well after retiring,” said Ervin. “I look forward to working with the Task Force to create innovative solutions for retirement security for Maryland’s working families.”

The group will begin meeting immediately and will present a report detailing how to establish a path to retirement security for Maryland private sector workers to the governor by December 4. The Task Force was established by executive order in May and will be chaired by former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

“This Task Force convenes some of the brightest minds in Maryland to tackle one of the toughest challenges facing our state: ensuring that Marylanders are able to enjoy a stable and secure retirement,” said Governor O’Malley. “Far too many of our citizens are anxious about how they’re going to be able to afford to retire — I brought this group together to help address that.”

Chairwoman Kennedy Townsend added, “The Governor has identified lifelong financial security as a critical challenge facing Maryland families. I look forward to working with the members of the Task Force and hearing from the public to develop solutions which are cost effective and sustainable.”

A press release from Governor O’Malley’s office said that, “[a] recent Boston College study found that over one half of Americans stand to outlive their retirement savings, with American households facing a current retirement shortfall of $6.6 billion. Currently, 49 percent of private-sector workers participate in a retirement plan, and only 16 percent participate in a defined benefit plan, leaving the remaining 36 percent without vital retirement income. The Task Force will look for ways to support stable, secure retirements for private sector employees in the state, which will in turn prevent dependency on government programs, create more consumers and inject more money into the state’s economy.”

The Task Force is comprised of members of the General Assembly, the State Treasurer, labor unions, along with members of the financial services industry and small business community. The President of the Senate appointed Sen. James Rosapepe and Sen. Joe Getty and the Speaker of the House appointed Del. Dana Stein and Del. Sandy Rosenberg to serve on the Task Force.