State Treasurer Announces Expansion In Retirement Program

Craig Dellimore
March 04, 2019 - 7:39 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office announced Monday the state’s program to help private employees save for retirement is now available to almost all of them now.

If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement savings plan, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said the Secure Choice Program will likely give you that option. It allows employees to automatically put money into a Roth IRA, and it’s becoming mandatory for most businesses now.

"Last summer, we rolled out our pilot program registering people who already started making contributions into their own individual Roth IRAs; but at the beginning of this year, we started payroll deductions for all employers with more than 500 employees in the state who don't currently have a pension or 401K," Frerichs said.

He said Secure Choice does not cost the companies anything, and thousands of employees already are taking advantage.

"In a matter of months since our official launch, thousands of employees are already making contributions into their own retirement accounts and together have already saved over one million dollars for their futures,” Treasurer Frerichs said in a statement.  “Many of these workers are first-time savers and proud to build a nest egg towards their retirement. We are excited about the success of Secure Choice and encourage employers to get signed up.” 

The Secure Choice Program is expanding to include an expected 1.2 million workers. Enrollment for wave two is now open through July 2019 for employers with 100-499 employees. The wave three deadline is for employers with 25-99 employees is November 2019. Employers required to enroll in Secure Choice must meet their respective enrollment deadline, however, all eligible businesses can register employees early. 

He said workers can choose one of four types of retirement funds and can opt out. But, he said, thousands of people already have welcomed this easier way to save for the future.