Legislation will help millions of Illinois Workers Save for Retirement
Chicago, IL — On a vote of 30-25-02 in the Senate and 67-45 in the House, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (SB2758) was approved by the Illinois General Assembly today. The bill will give millions of private sector workers in Illinois the opportunity to save their own money for retirement by expanding access to employment-based retirement savings accounts.
SB2758, sponsored by Illinois Senator Daniel Biss and Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, will automatically enroll workers without access to an employment-based retirement plan into the Secure Choice program. While workers can opt-out of the program, those who do participate will be able to build savings in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) through a payroll deduction. All accounts will be professionally managed; the large number of accounts expected to be under management will ensure that fees are low and investment performance is competitive.
“Illinois has taken a huge step forward in addressing a growing retirement crisis by giving Illinois residents the tools to save,” said Senator Biss. “The Secure Choice program will have a minimal impact on the state and participating businesses, but the effect for workers will be the difference between retiring with dignity and retiring into poverty.”
More than 2.5 million workers do not have access to a retirement savings account through their employer, according to a report from the Woodstock Institute. The report found lack of access is most serious for low-wage workers, of whom 60 percent lack access, but even for workers making $40,000 or more, 49 percent do not have access to an employment-based retirement savings plan. In every Senate district in Illinois, over half of private-sector workers do not have access to this type of plan.
“The Secure Choice Savings Program will make it easy for Illinois workers to save without burdening employers or the state,” Representative Currie said. “This program can make a secure retirement a reality for hard-working Illinoisans.”
Woodstock Institute was one of the lead organizations advocating with our partners for the passage of the Illinois Secure Choice Program. “Secure Choice is an innovative, simple program that makes saving for retirement easy for Illinois workers,” said Courtney Eccles, Woodstock’s policy director. “We thank the Illinois General Assembly for significantly advancing retirement security for Illinois workers and look forward to working with leaders to implement this new program.”
The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program was supported by Woodstock Institute, Illinois Asset building Group, Heartland Alliance, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, SEIU Healthcare, AARP Illinois, and over 60 organizations and businesses across the state.