We need a retirement system that works for every resident of Illinois.
Our state faces a looming crisis. More than 2.5 million people are working in Illinois today without access to a retirement savings plan at work.
Research shows we are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if we can do so using a payroll deduction, which means those who lack access to employer-sponsored savings plans in many cases are entirely reliant on Social Security.
Unfortunately for this population, Social Security never was intended to be a sole source of retirement income. Indeed, the average Social Security payout per month is $1,281. In Illinois, the median amount of money in retirement accounts is $3,000.
Together, these two numbers tell us that far too many Illinois residents probably will live in poverty when their working days are over. They should not have to choose among paying for groceries, utilities or their prescriptions. They deserve better than that. They deserve a safe, easy way to save for retirement.
This is why we moved the Secure Choice Savings Program through the Illinois Senate. The proposed program would require employers with more than 25 workers that offer no retirement plans to automatically enroll their employees with a 3 percent payroll deduction in the Secure Choice plan. The employees could opt out at any time or change their contribution levels.