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Illinois Secure Choice Program Allows One Million More Workers to Save for Retirement

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Springfield -- On behalf of our 1.7 million members, AARP Illinois commends Illinois lawmakers for passing an expansion to the Illinois Secure Choice Savings program – a move that will bring a much-needed retirement savings option to 1 million more workers across the state.

HB 117, sponsored by Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) passed the Senate with a vote of 42-15. Today’s passage will expand the program to all employers with at least 5 employees. Currently access is limited to employers of 25 or more employees. This willallow 1 million more Illinois workers the ability to save for retirement at work.

Illinois Secure Choice is a state-facilitated retirement program that makes it easy to access retirement savings options. Since launching in 2018, the program has brought retirement savings access to workers in every county across Illinois.

“AARP Illinois worked hard to support Secure Choice because we know that helping people ages 50 and older to improve their quality of life as they age does not just mean helping people who are near or currently in retirement,” said State Director Bob Gallo. “It means we are looking out for those at all stages of their careers and will retire in the future.”

“This commonsense change to existing law helps workers save their own money for their retirement while reducing future pressures on state safety net programs,” State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said. “Everyone should have the right to retire with dignity, and with Secure Choice we’re making that possible.”

"I'm proud to see HB 117 pass the Senate. It's time for us to tackle the crisis of retirement savings in Illinois, and expanding Secure Choice will make sure more people have the resources they need to retire in comfort and dignity," said Rep. Guzzardi.

“Secure Choice is our opportunity to help Illinois citizens as they return to work in a post crisis economy,” said Sen. Martwick. “It is the perfect opportunity to give them the chance to start saving on day one of their new jobs with little to no effort on the employer. A true win-win.”

AARP Illinois commends Deputy Republican Leader Sen. Sue Rezin (R- Morris), Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), Sen. John Curran (R-Lemont) and again commends Deputy Republican Leader Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) and Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Springfield,  for their support on the measure. Their bipartisan leadership has shown that the Secure Choice Program is working and should be offered to more Illinois workers – and potentially replicated in other states.

 “AARP Illinois commends Illinois legislators who today took action to make sure that every worker has a chance to put aside the money they need to take control of their future, Gallo said. “We now encourage Gov. Pritzker to swiftly sign this into law so the retirement savings for a million more workers may begin.”

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