Today at its annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, Woodstock Institute announced its “Commitment to Action,” which will further our work to strengthen retirement security.
CGI is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation founded by former President Bill Clinton to “turn ideas into action.” The Commitment to Action represents the key feature of the Initiative, lending the Foundation’s name to build awareness, identify partners, and share results for ideas that address some of the world’s biggest problems in a new way. Through Commitments to Action, the initiative has impacted more than 400 million individuals worldwide since 2005.
Woodstock’s Commitment to Action is supported as part of CGI’s financial inclusion Working Group and centers on retirement security. Our 2012 report, Coming Up Short: The Scope of Retirement Insecurity Among Illinois Workers, found that over half of private sector workers in Illinois lack an employment-based retirement savings option. With most of these workers possessing limited or no assets, they face the real possibility of retiring into a declining quality of life, or even poverty.
Our commitment, in conjunction with partners such as Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, is to build broad-based support for the solution we recommended in Coming Up Short: establishing a statewide Auto Individual Retirement Account (IRA) program.
The proposed Illinois Auto IRA program would establish a retirement savings account program and automatically enroll workers who do not have access to an employer-based retirement savings option. Workers would be able to opt out of the plan. Participants could take their retirement savings from job to job without penalty. Savings in the plan would receive the favorable tax treatment accorded current IRAs and Roth IRAs.
Woodstock and our partners will be trying new approaches to build support, including outreach to new legislative partners, media, businesses, trade groups, and women’s groups.
With millions of Americans are approaching retirement without adequate savings, now is the time to act. An Auto IRA program can help Illinois support its workers and economy while preventing a full-on retirement insecurity crisis in the future.
About CGI America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 200 commitments valued at $13.4 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.