Washington's program will have a marketplace with a digital portal to locate private sector plans, in addition, employers can provide up to a 3 percent match of workers contributions.
However, Blocker says people have to "get in the habit of saving, " adding that "people today are not saving mostly because they have competing financial needs, and they don't think that extra dollar (investment) is going to do a difference."
Yet both Blocker and Ghilarducci acknowledged a downside problem with individual state plans. What happens when workers cross state lines and move between states? That answer has yet to be found.
Another retirement saving option is a federal one. Last week, the Treasury Department launched nationally, "myRA", a government–backed Roth IRA for workers who don't have access to a work-based retirement savings program.
Ghilarducci told CNBC that the government plan "has been described as a little bicycle with training wheels." She called it a "public option for people who don't want to pay high fees with 401k's."
Under the rules of myRA, first announced by President Obama in 2014, individuals who earn less than $131K (and couples earning less than $193K) can contribute up to $5,500 a year ($6,500 if over age 50). The program has no fee, no minimum investment or risk of money loss, but when the account reaches a maximum of $15K in value, it must be moved to a private Individual Retirement Account.
Ghilarducci, however, noted a flaw in the myRA plan. "The employer doesn't provide any match for it, and the tax subsidies don't help low income people," she said. Treasury views the myRA program "not so much as a retirement vehicle, but a way for households to have a little bit of rainy day funds."
Blocker said the organization supports myRA , adding that the "great thing about myRA is there are no barriers to entry." Since it is national and not state-based, "it's very portable," he added.
Blocker stated that the real issue is "more awareness," getting people to "know about the options that are out there," as well as "the importance of saving for retirement."
On the Money airs on CNBC Saturday at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.