State website helps people, businesses shop retirement plans

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A new Washington state website now offers a simple way for people and small business owners to shop around for low-fee private retirement savings plans.

The Washington Department of Commerce said Monday that the online portal is the first of its kind in the nation.

The so-called Retirement Marketplace is aimed at helping roughly 2 million Washington state residents who do not have access to retirement savings plans through their work. It’s also intended to help small businesses that may not offer such plans because of their complexity or fees.

Self-employed workers, those who work part-time or work in the gig economy and others can shop for low-fee plans.

Participation is voluntary. The state runs the website, but people sign up with private providers.

Plans listed on the website must meet certain requirements, including having low fees. They’re also reviewed by the state.