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Retirement Savings Bill Passes Illinois House Committee

Secure Choice Savings Program Will Help Millions of Illinois Workers Save for Retirement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michelle Nicolet
312.368.2675, mnicolet@povertylaw.org

May 22, 2014—The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (SB 2758) passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives Personnel and Pensions Committee today by bipartisan vote of 7-2. Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss in the Senate and Rep. Barbara Currie in the House, the bill will give millions of private-sector workers access to Individual Retirement Savings Accounts (IRAs) through their employment and the opportunity to build a financially secure future. Currently, more than 2.5 million Illinois workers do not have access to a retirement savings account through their employer.

Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of retirement income for retirees. Yet 40 percent of today’s retirees rely on Social Security for almost 90 percent of their retirement income. “The State of Illinois is facing a crisis, with people reaching retirement age who are too frail to keep working but too poor to retire, and thus forced to depend on government programs,” said Sen. Biss “Secure Choice is a commonsense approach that allows people to achieve financial independence while simultaneously lifting a burden from taxpayers’ shoulders.”

Under the Secure Choice Savings Program, employers with 25 or more employees, in operation 2 or more years that do not currently offer any type of retirement plan would offer employees the choice to save by automatically sending 3% of the employee’s paycheck to a conservatively managed IRA. Employees could opt-out or increase or decrease their contributions at any time. The accounts would be portable as workers move from job to job, and smaller employers could choose to participate in the program.

“Employers do not have to do anything but deduct and forward the money—the same way they handle taxes,” said Rep. Currie. “We know people are very unlikely to save for retirement if they are not offered a plan through work. Secure Choice will allow more workers access to a safe, easy, and affordable way to retire in dignity.”

“Lack of access to an employment-based retirement savings plan is most serious for low-wage workers, women, and people of color. We are fighting to pass Secure Choice as part of our efforts to promote asset-building opportunities for people traditionally left out on the sidelines from investment tools, or worse, targeted for predatory banking products,” said Carol Ashley, Vice President of Advocacy at the Shriver Center. “We applaud the House Personnel and Pensions Committee for taking this big step toward ensuring Illinoisans’ retirement security, and we are hopeful that that the full House will do the same.”

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program is supported by the Shriver Center, IABG, Heartland Alliance, Woodstock Institute, SEIU Healthcare, AARP Illinois, and over 50 organizations and businesses across the state.

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. For more information, visit http://povertylaw.org.


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.org

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