Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

January 17, 2023

Comptroller pitches state-run retirement plan to Westville businesses 

PHOTO | LIESE KLEIN Comptroller Sean Scanlon speaks with business owner Alisa Bowens-Mercado about the state's new retirement plan on Jan. 17, 2023.

When the music stops, Alisa Bowens-Mercado would love to see her salsa teachers provided for in retirement with a savings plan. 

“You’ve got to make sure that after you dance, you just roll into something that’s comfortable,” Bowens-Mercado said of her three part-time instructors. “We want to take care of them on their retirement.” 

State Comptroller Sean Scanlon visited one of Bowens-Mercado’s businesses, Alisa’s House of Salsa at 912 Whalley Ave. in New Haven, on Tuesday to promote the third wave of recruitment for the new state-run retirement plan for private sector workers, MyCTSavings. Bowens-Mercado also runs Rhythm Brewing Co. and a growing coffee company

MyCTSavings is now seeking businesses with five employees or more to enroll in the program, with plans to include even smaller enterprises in the future, Scanlon said. 

The state’s goal is to make providing workers with a retirement-plan option simple for small employers, said MyCTSavings Executive Director Jessica Muirhead, who accompanied Scanlon on his New Haven visit. 

“It's a direct connection between a place of business that doesn't offer their own retirement plan and a Roth IRA program,” Muirhead said. “[The employer’s] only job is to enroll the participants and then make the payroll deductions on their own payroll. That's it.”

MyCTSavings Executive Director Jessica Muirhead outside of Alisa's House of Salsa in New Haven on Jan. 17, 2023.

MyCTSavings  launched in April, with this latest effort targeting the smallest businesses. More than 600,000 Connecticut residents working in the private sector are not offered a retirement plan through their employer, the comptroller’s office said at the start of the program.

Businesses have until March 30 to sign up for MyCTSavings in this latest wave, Muirhead said.  

“We're doing everything we can to get the word out,” Muirhead said. “The goal is to make this just a part of doing business in Connecticut, so any business that works here that has employees in the state is aware of the program and knows what their obligations and responsibilities are.”

Sampling baklava and English breakfast tea at Pistachio Cafe across the street from Alisa’s, Scanlon urged manager Taylor Curry to tell the owner and employees about the new retirement plan.

“It's a perfect thing for you and a good way for employees [to save],” Scanlon told Curry, who manages five full-time baristas at the cafe’s Westville location, with more at a new Chapel Street location and bakery.  “Even if they leave here, they can still continue to use that [retirement plan], so it's a good thing,” Scanlon said.

Contact Liese Klein at

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF