House to consider Biss’ retirement savings bill

Sophia Bollag, City Editor

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A bill sponsored by state Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) that would make it easier for some residents to create retirement savings plans can now be considered by the full Illinois House of Representatives after a committee approved the bill Thursday.

The bill would allow employees at businesses larger than 25 people that have operated for more than two years to create a savings account that would invest 3 percent of all paychecks the worker earns. Employees would be able to change the investment rate or opt out of the program whenever they choose.

“The need to address our looming retirement crisis is urgent; there are 2.5 million Illinois workers likely to retire into poverty because they lack access to retirement accounts through their employers,” Biss said in a news release. “The good news is that this solution costs government and employers nothing and actually gives small businesses a boost by letting them compete for the best hires with larger companies that can afford retirement benefits.”

Businesses would not have to manage the savings accounts; the entire program would be run by the state.

The savings account would follow employees even if they were to switch jobs.

“In the 21st century economy, people increasingly change jobs and careers many times during their working lives,” Biss said in the release. “Illinois workers need a 21st century option for their retirement plans that’s portable and follows them as they change jobs.”

The bill passed the state Senate 30-22 on April 9. In the House, the bill has 24 sponsors, including Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston).

Email: sophiabollag@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @SophiaBollag

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