Family Finances

Expanding Retirement Security in Illinois: A Forum on the Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

March 16, 2016  • David Mitchell

Over half of Illinois’s private sector workforce – roughly 2.5 million people and 1.7 million in the Chicago region alone – lack access to an employment-based retirement plan. Those Illinois citizens lucky enough to be automatically enrolled in a retirement plan through work are more likely to enjoy a secure and dignified retirement than their uncovered counterparts.

The Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (“Secure Choice”), signed into law last year, will begin to make automatic retirement savings a reality for these uncovered workers, bringing much-needed retirement readiness to as many as 1.2 million  Illinoisans. The new program will give covered employees (those who work in firms with at least 25 employees and have been in business for at least two years) access to an employer-based, portable, individual retirement savings account, with automatic deductions from their paychecks.

The Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program will convene an event in conjunction with the Secure Choice Board to explore issues on the design and implementation of the program that will be critical to a successful roll-out.

The event will bring together a diverse array of expert opinion from the financial industry, academia, and the advocacy community.  We hope to offer valuable input to the deliberations of the Board as they move forward to bring this important new program to fruition.

The event will be held Monday, April 25, 2016, from 9:00 am to 11:45 am in Chicago, Illinois and will be open to the public. Further details, including the specific location, time, and speakers, will be posted soon. Please direct any questions to Kiese Hansen at or (202) 736-3592.


Secure Choice is run by the seven-member Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program Board and administered by the Illinois State Treasurers Office. The Board is chaired by State Treasurer Michael Frerichs; other members include State Comptroller Leslie Munger, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget designee Kim Fowler, and appointees Miriam Martinez, David Marzahl, David Rappaport, and John Rauschenberger.