- Convenience store chain
- Texarkana, TX
- 2200 employees
E-Z Mart’s small-town stores think big on retirement
Drive through many small towns in the south central states and you’ll likely see the green-and-orange signs of E-Z Mart stores during your journey. They serve as a local market, waystop for travelers, and a place of work for more than 2,200 employees. By any measure, the company contributes a great deal to the communities where it operates.
Owner and CEO Sonja Hubbard sees an opportunity for E-Z Mart to be a force for good on an even larger scale: by helping her employees do more to save for retirement and encouraging them to sign up for myRA®, a new retirement savings account developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“I think businesses have a responsibility to help people and move society and culture when it comes to saving, and supporting myRA is a way to do that,” Sonja says.
A future-focused family business
Sonja’s father founded E-Z Mart in 1970. The chain has grown in the decades since, now with some 300 stores in four states. But it still retains a close-knit feel.
"We call it our E-Z Mart family," Sonja said. "On our leadership team, average tenure is 20 years. Family is part of our culture. We know store managers by name."
But for a large part of the workforce their part-time status and high turnover rate excludes them from the opportunity to participate in the company’s profit sharing retirement savings plan.
Given her interest in encouraging her employees to start saving young, Sonja saw myRA as the perfect tool to introduce them to retirement saving. myRA has no fees, no required minimum contributions, and no risk of losing money.
myRA is designed for people just starting to save for retirement. It lets workers contribute and build savings of up to $15,000 or for 30 years, whichever comes first. They can then transfer or roll over their savings to a private-sector Roth IRA, where their savings can continue to grow.
"This works for our employees because it gives them the flexibility to get to their money if they need to,” Sonja said. “That gives them the confidence to put that money away, and once they see it build, it encourages them to keep it there."
myRA helps them lay their financial groundwork for their future.-Sonja Hubbard, CEO, E-Z Mart
An easy choice for E-Z Mart
It also was an easy decision for E-Z Mart as a company. Employers pay nothing and do not administer or contribute to employee myRA accounts. Employees choose how much to save and can fund their account through payroll deductions. It is an easy way to build up savings and earn interest. myRA is actually a Roth IRA, and shares the same annual contribution limits, withdrawal rules and tax advantages of that retirement plan.
E-Z Mart has shared information about myRA with its employees in meetings, via newsletters, through its HR portal, and through posters and materials provided by the U.S. Treasury. This has led to many enrollments.
For store manager Lakesha Douglas, myRA came right on time. Her growing family made her recognize the need to plan for retirement, and myRA was an easy way to start. “I feel like I’m taking a step in the right direction with myRA,” says Lakesha.
“I think myRA is great. This isn’t a benefit that E-Z Mart itself offers to retain and recruit, but telling our employees about it and encouraging them to sign up truly helps people down the road,” said Sonja. “A lot of E-Z Mart employees have gone on to do great things. myRA helps them lay their financial groundwork for their future.”
What others are saying about myRA
I would tell small businesses, just do it. It’s free. It’s something you can explain.-Diana G.
I like the idea that someday I’d retire…-Audrey G.