FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michelle Nicolet
March 20, 2014 – Today the Illinois Senate Executive Committee took a positive step toward ensuring that all Illinois workers can secure their financial futures by passing Senate Bill 2758, the Secure Choice Savings Program, by a vote of 9-5-1. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, would provide every worker in Illinois access to a portable Individual Retirement Savings Account (IRA) through his or her employer and the opportunity to build a financially secure future. Two and a half million Illinois private sector workers, or over 50 percent, lack access to retirement plans through their employment. The bill is sponsored in the House by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (House Bill 4595).
“The Secure Choice Savings Program is sorely needed,” said Carol Ashley, vice president of advocacy at the Shriver Center. “Because of the lack of retirement savings options, too many workers will retire into poverty, and many will have to choose between basic needs like paying for their prescription drugs or keeping the lights on.” More than one-third of Illinois households depend on Social Security benefits, which average only $1,152 a month, for at least 90 percent of their retirement income.
“With private sector workers, especially low-wage workers, increasingly lacking access to retirement plans, Illinoisans face an increasing risk of retiring deep into poverty,” said Sen. Biss. “Senate Bill 2758 is the solution that’s least burdensome to government and businesses that will allow more workers access to safe, portable, and affordable ways to save and invest.”
Under the program, workers would be automatically enrolled and could opt out or change their contribution level at any time. Moreover, the accounts would be portable for workers changing jobs.
The Shriver Center supports the Secure Choice Savings Program as part of its advocacy efforts to promote asset-building opportunities for low-income individuals and families. “Strategies to help families build personal and financial assets, including retirement savings, are key to ensuring economic security for low-income workers,” said Shriver Center President John Bouman. “We applaud the Senate Executive Committee for passing SB 2758, and we urge the full Senate to do the same.”
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. Through policy development, advocacy, litigation, consulting, training and communications, we are building the national capacity of people living in poverty by representing them directly and by supporting and enhancing the capacity of other public interest lawyers who serve them.
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.orgDownload this