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Equitable Access to Secure Choice
Illinois is among the first states in the nation to pass retirement savings legislation in the form of Secure Choice. With the implementation of Secure Choice, workers in Illinois at qualifying businesses without access to an employment-based retirement plan will be automatically enrolled in a retirement savings program. An estimated 1.3 million (32.5%) Illinoisans who currently do not have access to workplace retirement plans will be potentially impacted by Secure Choice.
As Illinois moves toward Secure Choice implementation, we need to ensure that the program is addressing barriers to participation, especially among low-income workers, women, immigrants and workers of color.
This report examined barriers to saving for retirement among low-income workers and found:
- Many low-income workers in Illinois are not able to save for retirement due to lack of employer-sponsored retirement options.
- Many low-income workers in Illinois struggle to save for retirement due to a lack of funds or appropriate financial planning support.
- Many low-income workers in Illinois have just as high of a need for emergency savings accounts as they do for retirement savings accounts.
- Many low-income workers in Illinois experience distrust of financial institutions, employers, and the government.
- There are promising features of Secure Choice that speak directly to the needs of low-income workers in Illinois.
IABG advised Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center on this report.
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