Outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Sunday that will expand access to employment-based retirement savings accounts for more than 2 million private-sector workers in the state.
Workers at businesses in operation for at least two years with 25 or more employees will be required to have access to an individual retirement savings account through their employer by June of 2017 under the Secure Choice Savings Program, sponsored by State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago).
About 2.5 million private sector workers in Illinois do not have access to retirement plans through their jobs. Such eligible workers can participate in the state's Secure Choice program and build retirement savings through a 3 percent payroll deduction. Workers covered by the measure are allowed to opt out of the program if they choose or reduce their payroll deductions.
"We think it will be a model for many, many other states," Quinn said. "Because one of the leading causes of worry for everyday people who are working hard, raising kids, doing the right thing, is how much money they will have when they pay their kids' college tuition, when they've paid all their bills, will they have any money left for their retirement so they can live out their years in dignity?"
Secure Choice program funds will be handled by a private company, which will be picked by the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Board. The seven members of the board will be appointed when the legislation takes effect this June, reports the Chicago Tribune.