Illinois Secure Choice Pilot Program Now in Operation

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, the state-run retirement savings vehicle for private sector employees in Illinois who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan, is now being tested by employers that volunteered to participate in a pilot program, Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs (D) announced April 18.

WNIU radio reports that Frerichs made his remarks in a panel discussion on retirement savings held at the University of Illinois’ I-Hotel in Champaign, Ill. More employers will become part of the pilot program this fall.

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act, the law establishing the program, was enacted on Jan. 4, 2015. It called for the program to be implemented by June 1, 2017; however, a measure was later enacted that delays enrollment of employees until 2018. That law specifies only that full implementation was to take place by Dec. 31, 2020; it leaves it up to the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Board to set a precise timeline.

The Board met on April 19; the meeting agenda included discussion of a proposed launch schedule, auto-enrollment and a resolution to establish participant Roth IRAs.

CEO Named for Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program

In other news in the state-run plan arena, the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust has named David Belnick executive director and CEO.

Belnick, who had served as Program Director at Nationwide Retirement Solutions, was named to the positions with the Maryland program on April 16, Pensions & Investments reports. “For a decade, Dave Belnick served state of Maryland employees as a contractor working to improve the state’s supplemental retirement savings plan,” Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Board Chairman Joshua Gotbaum — who heads the body which implements, maintains and administers the program — told P&I.

The Trust provides retirement plan coverage for employees in the Old Line State whose employers do not offer retirement plans. The program, created by legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2016, requires employers with 10 or more employees which use an automated payroll system or service and do not offer their own plan to either participate in the state program or pay an annual filing fee. It also creates a state-run auto-IRA program that businesses can offer and thereby fulfill the law’s requirements.

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