House Committee Passes Retirement Security Bill - AARP Urges Full House To Follow Suit

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Would Help Provide Retirement Security for over 2.5 Million Illinoisans

May 22, 2014, 12:38 ET from AARP Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the House Personnel and Pensions Committee passed Senate Bill 2758 – the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program - on a 7-2 vote.  The bipartisan bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, provides a simple retirement savings opportunity to over 2.5 million workers in Illinois who do not currently have access to an employer-based retirement savings plan.  The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Daniel Biss.

"Over 53% of the private-sector workforce in Illinois does not have access to a retirement savings plan through work," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director.   "The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program creates real possibilities to help encourage private savings so more people can live independently as they age, relying less on government safety-net programs."

Senate Bill 2758 would provide an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) plan for businesses that have 25 or more employees that have been in business more than two years.  The program enables businesses to facilitate employee savings without having to sponsor a plan or comply with ERISA requirements.

"Illinois risks facing a retirement security crisis in the future because so many private-sector workers in our state don't have access to a retirement savings plan at work," said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie.  "Senate Bill 2758 aims to ensure a more secure financial future for Illinois workers by providing a safe, effective way to save for retirement automatically - in a way that is least burdensome for employers and the state," added Currie.

Nationally, 45% of working-age households have no retirement savings and the average Social Security benefit in Illinois is only $1,281 per month.  Research has shown that people are more likely to save for retirement if they can do so through work.  Over 71% of workers participate in a retirement savings plan when it is offered by their employer – and less than 5% save if their employer does not offer a plan. 

"AARP is committed to ensuring that Illinois workers have the tools they need to be financially secure in retirement," said Gallo.  "We applaud Representative Currie and Senator Biss for sponsoring this legislation, and we thank the members of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee who voted in favor of the bill today, including Representatives Drury, Sente, McSweeney, Burke, Nekritz, Golar and Zalewski."

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program is supported by AARP Illinois, Shriver Center, Woodstock Institute, Heartland Alliance, SEIU Illinois/Indiana and over 30 other business, association and advocacy groups.