The tax reform debate has dominated Washington’s attention recently, but policymakers must not overlook commonsense opportunities to achieve the economic growth everyday Americans need. Outside the Beltway and across the country, families are sitting around the kitchen table with their financial stresses in tow, from how to afford next year’s college tuition payment to whether they have enough cash to weather an emergency, and increasingly, whether they can afford to retire.
It should come as no surprise then that a recent survey shows that 79 percent of Americans fear they won’t have enough saved for retirement. But while all eyes remain on tax reform, a little-known solution already exists to help alleviate much of this anxiety: employee stock ownership plans. These are companies of all sizes that allow employees to own stock in the organizations they work for, giving them stake in the company at no cost. Over 13.5 million Americans nationwide participate in employee stock ownership plans as employee owners, sharing the fruits of their labor and gaining a secure, high performing source of retirement income.