October 3, 2023

Ex-House Members Propose ESOPs as Solution to Retirement Crisis

Director of Publishing and Information Technology

Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), both former U.S. representatives who served on the House Ways and Means Committee, authored an editorial in The Hill, Employee ownership could be the key to solving our retirement security crisis, pointing out that "At a time when retirement seems out of reach for many Americans, there is clear and convincing evidence that people who work for private businesses with Employee Stock Ownership Plans . . . have far greater retirement security than the average American." Citing recent research from Ernst & Young on S corporation ESOP participants and NCEO research on ESOPs and retirement security, Kind and Paulsen note how ESOPs help workers; at the same time, they cite a report from Matrix Global Advisors and an NCEO analysis of ESOP litigation to criticize regulatory uncertainty around ESOPs that makes it more difficult to establish an ESOP. They express hope that the project at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish clearer guidance for ESOPs will "finally put to bed the regulatory uncertainty that has cast a shadow over employee ownership for decades," stating that the ESOP community is ready to work with the DOL and the administration "to usher in a new era of employee ownership."