Friday, April 11, 2014
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NCPERS applauds Senate passage of Illinois Secure Choice Plan

Urges House lawmakers to follow Senate's lead

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[April 11, 2014]  WASHINGTON Following is a statement by Hank Kim, Esq., executive director and counsel for the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, on the Illinois Senate's passage of the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Plan:

"NCPERS applauds the Illinois Senate for taking action to address a growing crisis in Illinois and throughout the country the unprecedented retirement savings deficit in the private sector. Senators passed the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Plan, which would create a retirement savings plan for workers at businesses that have more than 25 employees but do not offer a retirement plan. Businesses will be able to participate in the plan with minimal effort. Most importantly, it will not cost the government or Illinois taxpayers a dime.

"If the House approves the measure and it becomes law, a portable, at-work retirement savings program will become available to 2.5 million Illinois workers who currently have no access to such a plan and face living entirely on Social Security in retirement. For most workers, that won't be enough. Not only will they not be contributing to the Illinois economy and generating tax revenues, they could easily become reliant on government programs.

"Illinois is not alone in looking forward and working to resolve the private sector retirement security dilemma to avoid its inevitable negative economic impact. NCPERS is working with policymakers in the state of Washington, Maryland and other states who want to take action now to protect their working citizens, their taxpayers and their economies.

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"More than two years ago, NCPERS developed and rigorously tested its own proposal for addressing the private sector retirement security crisis the Secure Choice Pension. It calls for public-private partnerships in each state or in groups of states to establish an affordable, easy-to-administer retirement savings plan in which individual contributions would be pooled together and invested by professional money managers. Participants would receive a guaranteed, lifetime income in retirement one that's immune to sudden economic downturns or the vagaries of the stock market. The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Plan shares many of those characteristics.

"With a national private sector retirement savings deficit of $14 trillion-plus, there is no question that peril lies ahead as baby boomers swell the retirement population and the generation behind them continues to work without adequate savings. That peril can be avoided if we act now which is why the Illinois House should follow the Senate's lead and make the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Plan law."

[Text from news release from the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems]

The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 550 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique nonprofit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage more than $3 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research and education for the benefit of public sector pension stakeholders.

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