When then-governor Pat Quinn signed the Secure Choice retirement savings bill into law in January, reporters and policy wonks across the country took notice because the Illinois program could become a model for other states and the federal government.
“The plan, called Secure Choice, aims at a gap in America’s retirement saving system: Employer-based savings plans are supposed to be an important source of Americans’ retirement income, but large employers are far more likely to offer such plans than small ones. The plan is similar to one President Obama has advocated at the federal level, and if it is successful in getting more people to save, it may end up being a model for other states and the federal government,” Josh Barro with the New York Times reported.
“Secure Choice and myRA are promising because they are built on key principles that have been shown to promote sustainable, lifelong asset building. First, easy access is critical to promoting savings. Automatic enrollment, as in Secure Choice, has been shown to yield the highest participation rates, opening the door to retirement savings for as many as 2.5 million workers in Illinois. With myRA, although enrollment is not automatic, accounts could eventually be made available to all workers with earned income through online enrollment or by opening an account on the tax form. The second principle the programs share is that they allow for a diversity of uses.”
Woodstock Institute is proud to have participated in the efforts to make Secure Choice a reality. Woodstock’s Coming Up Short report illustrated the scope of retirement insecurity across the state by industry sectors and legislative districts, revealing that over half of all private sector workers in every part of the state lacked access to an employment-based retirement savings plan. We have gathered examples of the overwhelmingly positive coverage Secure Choice has received: