Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 20, 2018 


A deadly shooting at a Chicago hospital. Also on the Tuesday rundown: community health centers rise to the challenge after wildfires; plus food inspectors can keep your Thanksgiving meal hearty and healthy

Daily Newscasts

Program Could Help More Illinoisans Build a Nest Egg

PHOTO: A vote is expected by the end of the month at the Statehouse on a bill to create a retirement savings option for the more than 2.5 million Illinoisans who do not have a retirement savings plan through their employer. Photo credit: M. Connors/morguefile.
PHOTO: A vote is expected by the end of the month at the Statehouse on a bill to create a retirement savings option for the more than 2.5 million Illinoisans who do not have a retirement savings plan through their employer. Photo credit: M. Connors/morguefile.
November 19, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - House lawmakers are expected to vote soon on legislation that would expand access to employment-based retirement savings in Illinois.

Senate Bill 2758, also known as the "Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program," would provide an Individual Retirement Account plan for businesses that have 25 or more employees that have been in business for more than two years.

Heather Heppner, associate state director for communications with AARP Illinois, says the program will encourage workers save for their future.

"Unfortunately, we have a little bit of a retirement savings crisis going on in our country," says Heppner. "Less than 45 percent of working-age households have no retirement savings whatsoever, and the median retirement account balance is only $3,000 for all working-age households."

The average Social Security benefit in Illinois is slightly more than $1,200 per month, and Heppner says the program could keep many retirees from depending only on Social Security. SB 2758 passed the Senate in the spring and could be voted on when the House reconvenes for its veto session today.

Chicago-area State Senator Daniel Biss sponsored the bill in the Senate, and says it would break down the access barrier that many people face when it comes to building a nest egg.

"We will have a lot of people, who are currently without good options, able to easily participate in a low-cost tool to save for retirement," says Biss. "It will make a big difference in people's lives."

Heppner says the program is a win for businesses, who would not need to sponsor a plan or make matching contributions. She adds for workers, it could be transferred from job to job, and contributions would be voluntary.

"Employees would be automatically opted in, but they could opt out," she says. "What we're really trying to do here is encourage people to save for retirement, give them a vehicle to do so, so that our state and our country don't face a retirement savings crisis in the future."

Heppner says people are more likely to save for retirement if they can do so through work. She says more than 70 percent of workers participate in a retirement savings plan when it is offered by their employer, but less than five percent save when their employer does not offer a plan.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL