Quinn signs law creating retirement savings plan

Tori Latham, Assistant City Editor

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Sunday a bill sponsored by state Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) establishing a savings program to help Illinois residents prepare for retirement.

The law creates the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, which automatically gives each Illinois worker a retirement account. Three percent of an employee’s payroll will be put into the account unless he or she manually changes the amount. This gives workers who lack an employer-sponsored plan a way to save money while still allowing them to opt out if they choose.

“This has been my top legislative priority,” Biss said in a news release. “Bringing Secure Choice to Illinois was no easy task, and I am tremendously grateful to the many advocates, community leaders and colleagues of mine who devoted countless hours to making this a reality.”

Businesses in operation for at least two years and with 25 or more employees are required to provide the plan to their employees by June 1, 2017.

The signing of the bill into law positions Illinois to be the first state to implement such a wide-reaching automatic retirement savings plan, “giving many Illinois workers lacking workplace retirement savings accounts a simple way to save their own money and prepare for retirement,” Biss said in the news release.  

The state Senate first passed the bill in April and passed it again in December after the House added several amendments.

“Retirement insecurity for private sector workers is a serious and growing problem with a surprisingly commonsense, intuitive solution,” Biss said in a news release last month. “Illinois has taken an unprecedented step toward making retirement a financially viable option — for the first time — for millions of workers.”

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