An update on Washington's Small Business Retirement Marketplace

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Department of Commerce

Feb. 1, 2017

An update from Carolyn McKinnon, Marketplace Director

Small Business Retirement Program


I’m writing today to keep you in the loop about Washington’s Small Business Retirement Marketplace.

The introductory launch of the  Retirement Marketplace will be later in 2017 than originally anticipated.

Why are we taking extra time?

  • As the first-in-the-nation initiative, we are creating our own blueprint.
  • We’re working hard to identify, engage and verify financial service retirement savings products for the Retirement Marketplace –and it takes time to get it right.
  • The financial services industry is bringing retirement plans to us, and we are being thoughtful to make sure the products meet criteria set by the legislature.
  • Interactions with other states considering a Marketplace model have yielded interest by stakeholders to work toward consistent criteria, including fee structures.

Commerce anticipates a mid-2017 introductory launch of the Marketplace. We have had the opportunity to travel across the state to meet with small business stakeholders and hear the interest they have for creating an easy way for employees to save for retirement.

What is an introductory launch? The introductory launch is a period when products will be available, and Commerce will actively pursue feedback on the usefulness of the website from small businesses, chambers of commerce and workers. We’ll refine the website based on feedback and continue to expand product offerings during the introductory year.

Please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss how the Retirement Marketplace will bring low-cost retirement savings plans to Washington’s small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to save more toward retirement.

I look forward to talking with you. 


Carolyn McKinnon
Marketplace Director, Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace
Washington State Department of Commerce
360.725.3121 |