Voya launches new program to boost retirement savings for minority-owned businesses
Voya Financial, Inc. has introduced a first-of-its-kind program to support greater retirement planning opportunities for minority, women, veteran, disability, and LGBTQ-owned businesses — along with nonprofit organizations that serve them.
The Just Right Advantage™ Program is focused on helping employers and organizations within undercapitalized, underserved and “under-saved” communities by offering a fee credit when they establish or retain their retirement plan. In helping to support the employees within these businesses to become better prepared for retirement, the new program further expands on Voya’s recent efforts to help Americans address the financial challenges of COVID-19.
“We believe that this is an important time to support the businesses and communities that have been most heavily impacted by COVID-19, including those owned by minorities and other underserved communities,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Voya Financial. “The financial challenges brought on by the pandemic were exacerbated for many of the businesses within these communities due to forced closures and lack of access to relief funds...we commit to working together with employers and individuals to advance everyone’s opportunity for a better financial future. This is just one example of how we can do our part – and help demonstrate that Voya stands for diversity, equity and inclusion for all.”
The Just Right Advantage program comes at a time when a majority (79%) of Americans agree it is important that corporations do all they can to help minority-owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Even more individuals (88%) agree it’s important that all employees who work for minority-owned businesses be provided with opportunities for a secure retirement, according to new research from Voya.
And while the impacts of the pandemic have affected many businesses across the U.S., further industry research shows that minority-, women-, veteran-, disability- and LGBTQ-owned companies and their employees have seen some of the greatest effects. As an example, findings from a recent study through The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that almost half (41%) of Black-owned businesses and roughly 32% of Latinx-owned businesses across the country shut down between February and April.
To put this in perspective, only 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period. According to the study, some of the primary reasons for these disparities included less access to capital, including the federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, and funding gaps that existed prior to the pandemic, which were only intensified by COVID-19.
“The effects of the pandemic are sure to have a lasting impact on the economy for everyone, but particularly for minority-, women-, veteran-, disability- and LGBTQ-owned companies, their communities, and the nonprofit organizations that serve them,” said Charlie Nelson, chief executive officer, Retirement and Employee Benefits, Voya Financial. “At Voya, we are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of all Americans, but especially for minority communities, which have been particularly impacted by recent economic challenges due to COVID-19. At a time when both the economic and societal challenges can seem daunting, and as a leading retirement provider in the industry, we believe it is important to both lead and assist. Supporting the businesses within these communities and their employees to become better prepared for retirement is just the right thing to do.”
Voya’s Just Right Advantage program builds on federal and state legislative enactments related to access to capital, business growth and resiliency, savings promotion, and retirement preservation and expansion for employers and organizations in undercapitalized, underserved and under-saved communities.
Through June 30, 2021, Voya will offer the one-time fee credit to eligible employers, including minority-women-veteran-disability-LGBTQ-owned businesses, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. To be eligible, entities must be certified minority-owned businesses, while nonprofit entities must be 501(c)(3).
Both new and existing plans must also adopt plan features to help support increased participation and savings. These include: Automatic enrollment to help employees with getting into the retirement plan; automatic increase capabilities to help plan participants increase their savings opportunities; and the implementation of advisory services to help employees stay on track with their goals through ongoing guidance and education.
Ongoing financial education and guidance will also be available to participating employers and their employees in the form of webinars, a web portal available at VoyaJustRightAdvantage.com and through Voya Learn, Voya’s live and on-demand video portal offering access to financial education on a broad range of financial wellness and retirement topics.
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