Retirement Security Federalism

Illinois Secure Choice and the Future of Saving

Americans overwhelmingly believe that a retirement crisis is facing the nation, and nearly three-quarters of Americans worry about their own ability to retire. Yet the last major federal changes to our nation's retirement policy were made in 2006. While Congress stalls, states are stepping into the breach with their own innovative plans. The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Plan could be the first statewide automatic-IRA plan in operation. Ultimately, Secure Choice could connect as many as 2.5 million Illinoisans, who currently have no employer-sponsored account, to retirement savings. Approximately 20 states are studying or creating similar initiatives.

How and why have states started to move toward a "do-it-ourselves" posture on retirement savings? What are the barriers to creating a state retirement system? Can a state-based retirement system also serve as a catalyst for rebuilding the middle class?  What can other states learn from Illinois about the policy and politics involved? Please join New America as we explore these questions with the lead sponsor of the Secure Choice legislation in Illinois, State Senator Daniel Biss (D-IL-9), and key advocates who helped the law achieve passage.

Follow the conversation online using #SecureChoice and following @AssetsNAF.


The Honorable Daniel Biss
Illinois State Senator, 9th Legislative District

J. Mark Iwry
Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury

David John
Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute

Angela Antonelli
Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University

Courtney Eccles
Policy Director, Woodstock Institute

Sam Tuttle
Director of Policy & Advocacy, Heartland Alliance

Justin King
Policy Director, Asset Building Program