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Each episode offers employers candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.  

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Episode Guest:

Katie Selenski

Executive Director

California Secure Choice Retirement Plan

State Sponsored Retirement Plans: The Road Ahead for CA Secure Choice

Guest: Katie Selenski






When I ask employers if they have the information they need on the soon to launch state run retirement plans, I get reactions that range from "What state plans?" to "Great, sounds like another scheme to fix the mess with their pension plans!" These and other responses I have gotten haven’t given me a lot of confidence that information, much less accurate information, is filtering down to employers about these programs. With Oregon launching OregonSaves on July 1st, 2017 and many others likely to follow, I thought it might be a good time to revisit the topic! 

I was excited to have Katie Selenski, the first Executive Director of California Secure Choice, the new state sponsored retirement plan for private sector workers in California join me on the 401(k) Fridays Podcast! During our conversation, we start with the basics of why California and other states are launching retirement plans, then move onto some recent developments on the federal level and how states plan to digest them and give Katie an opportunity to address some of the questions, misperceptions and concerns surrounding the California plan. 

If you have employees in California, you should definitely check this out. If you don’t, well, there are over thirty other states that are in the process of launching retirement plans so much of what we talk about will likely apply!

Guest Bio

In April 2017, Katie Selenski was appointed by California State Treasurer John Chiang to serve as the first Executive Director of the pioneering California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board, which governs the Secure Choice Program. The program will provide a path to retirement security for the seven million Californians who currently lack access to a retirement savings account via their employer, by allowing workers a simple, low cost way to save their own money and participate in professionally managed investments.


Prior to taking the helm at Secure Choice, Ms. Selenski was the State Policy Director for public pension policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., where she managed Pew’s efforts to help fiscally distressed states and cities undertake data-driven pension system improvements. Previously, she was a senior manager with the nonpartisan public sector consulting firm Harvey M. Rose Associates, based in San Francisco, where she advised policymakers on a wide array of budget, management, and policy matters, including pensions. Previously, she worked as a municipal bond rating analyst, a legislative fellow in the California Assembly, and the director of an historic statewide nonpartisan youth voter turnout initiative. Ms. Selenski has previously served on the boards of multiple nonprofit organizations.


She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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