Illinois small firms will need to set up IRAs to aid retirement savings (Chicago Tribune)

By Gail MarksJarvis

The Illinois legislature has thrown a life preserver to about 2.5 million workers in danger of discovering in retirement that they are going to be far short of money.

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign a retirement savings measure that was passed by the legislature last week. And if that happens, Illinois will become a pioneer among states — the first to make it easy for workers to save for retirement at work, even if they have no 401(k)-type account on the job.

Currently, roughly half of workers in Illinois and the U.S. have no retirement savings plan at work. So most don't save, or they save little. They are risking their own future as well as the nation's, as a grandiose retirement crisis looms.

If other states copy the Illinois Secure Choice Saving Program, IRAs could become as common at the workplace as 401(k)s are now. And that convenience is expected to save taxpayers from bailing out struggling retirees who could have saved more while working.

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