Study after study has noted how little most Americans have saved for retirement. But encouraging participation in 401(k)s and other employer-sponsored plans is only half the battle.

An estimated 78 million Americans, or half of American workers, don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. One main reason: Most small businesses don’t offer them. Only 14 percent of employers with fewer than 100 employees provide 401(k)s or other retirement savings plans, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Late last year, the Obama administration launched the myRA (my Retirement Account) program in an effort to provide more savings options. But the plan, which allows workers to contribute post-tax money into a portable, government-backed account, has yet to gain much traction among workers or employers.

In the meantime, states are starting to step in with their own proposals to close the retirement savings gap.

In January, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law that would require all businesses in operation for at least two years and that have at least 25 employees to offer its workers an individual retirement savings option by 2017. And last month, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law that created the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace, a state-run website to match employers with 100 or fewer employees with private-sector plans, including myRAs.

“We have seen the level of legislation around retirement security increasing among state legislatures year after year,” said Luke Martel, a program manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

At least 15 other states have also considered legislation that would create some kind of state-sponsored retirement plan for private sector employees, according to the NCSL, with varied results.

In 2012, California passed a law to do a market analysis, which is expected to be completed this year, to see if it can implement a program similar to that in Illinois. And Massachusetts will soon allow nonprofit organizations with fewer than 20 employees to participate in a voluntary retirement savings plan overseen by the state treasurer’s office.

But not all efforts have been as successful. Bills in Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and West Virginia failed to pass their statehouses. A Colorado bill has been postponed indefinitely and a Maryland one did not get out of committee before the legislative session ended.

Most of the proposed state-backed retirement plans only address employee contributions and don’t offer employer matches, Martel said, as those would be covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a federal law that regulates most employer-sponsored retirement plans. In order to qualify for the significant tax benefits available to employers for offering retirement plans, private employers must maintain comprehensive records and funding for the employer match as specified by ERISA, which states worry could be a barrier to participation.

Washington’s program is an exception. Employers who voluntarily participate in the marketplace can also choose to match up to 3 percent of employee contributions. State officials have said the plans on the marketplace will be specifically selected to have minimal paperwork for employers and the match is optional.

But even with a match, IRA contribution limits make the state-sponsored plans less attractive than employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. The contribution limit in 2015 for IRAs is $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re 50 years or older. The contribution limit for 401(k)s and similar plans is $18,000, or $24,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Read more: Is Your State Getting Into the Retirement Business?

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