A 2012 Woodstock report found that more than half of private-sector workers in Illinois—over 2.5 million—lack access to an employment-based retirement savings plan. Without individual savings, many retirees who rely solely on Social Security benefits will face the prospect of retiring into poverty.

At Woodstock’s 2014 Community Investment Awards and Film Screening, we will present Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss with a Community Investment Award for his work leading the charge to address retirement insecurity in Illinois.  The award recognizes the accomplishments of community champions who exemplify what it means to work locally with a national impact.

For the past two legislative sessions, Senator Biss has sponsored the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Act (SB2758), under which employers will automatically enroll workers who do not have access to an employment-based plan in a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) plan. The program will help Illinois private-sector workers save their own money for retirement at minimal cost to taxpayers and employers. 

With support from Woodstock Institute, Illinois Asset Building Group, the Shriver Center, AARP Illinois, and other partners, Senator Biss has worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers on the issue of retirement insecurity for Illinois workers and to gain support for the Illinois Secure Choice Savings program.

Support for the program is strong and gaining momentum. Just last week, the bill passed the Illinois Senate Executive Committee by a vote of nine to five. The bill will now move on to the full Senate for approval. 

I hope you can join us at the event and help us honor Senator Biss for his continuing dedication to retirement savings and financially secure Illinoisans. To find out more and register for the event, visit the event web page.