Illinois Secure Choice is a program established by the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act. It applies to every Illinois employer with five or more employees who has been in business for two or more years. The Act requires them to provide either a retirement plan of their own or join Illinois Secure Choice.
Since its launch in 2018, the program has been phased in, based on an employer’s employee count. The first wave of employers to register with the program (those with 500 or more employees) was November 2018, while the deadline for employers with 100-499 employees was July 2019, and the deadline for employers with 25-99 employees was November 2019. However, the Secure Choice Program subsequently allowed employers affected by COVID-19 to delay their program enrollment.
Effective November 1, 2022, the Program applies to employers with 16 or more employees and applies to employers with 5 or more employees as of November 1, 2023.
Employers enrolled in the state’s retirement program, Secure Choice, are required to withhold 5% of each employee’s compensation (up to the IRA contribution limit, which is $6,000 for 2022), remitting the withholdings to the state’s Secure Choice plan. Employees have the option to adjust their contribution rate or opt out.
Illinois employers who have failed to register for the Secure Choice program and don’t offer their own retirement plan should take note the State of Illinois plans to step up enforcement of the program’s mandates. Employers who do not sponsor a retirement plan and who have failed to enroll in Secure Choice face a penalty of $250 per employee for the first year and $500 per employee for each subsequent year.