Retirement plan for small business passes House

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state retirement plan would be available for small business owners and their employees under a measure passed by the House.

House Bill 2474 passed 54-43 Friday. It would create a voluntary retirement savings program called Save Towards a Retirement Today. Money put into those accounts would be invested by the Washington State Investment Board and employers would not be required to contribute.

Employees would have no minimum contribution and their account would stay active as they change jobs.

The intent is to give the opportunity for all employees to save for retirement, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland.

About 460,000 people in Washington between 45 and 65 have saved less than $25,000 for retirement.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.