Now, Illinois has signed into law a new plan that’s aimed at addressing this issue and could provide a blueprint for other states and even at the federal level. Called Secure Choice, the plan will start enrolling state residents with jobs who don’t already have a retirement plan in 2017.

The program will be funded through a 3 percent deduction from workers’ paychecks. While some might bristle at the idea of a government mandating deductions from their paychecks, the system isn’t mandatory, although it does rely on an opt-out system. That’s considered a better way of getting people to actually save, given Fidelity’s findings that three-quarters of young workers with opt-out plans stick with their retirement savings, compared with only 20 percent who sign up for opt-in plans.

The fact is that many Americans lack access to retirement plans, either through 401(k)s or pensions, at their work places, which is considered a stumbling block to getting workers to save. While consumers can open up an IRA on their own, only four out of 10 U.S. households owned an IRA in 2013, according to research from the Investment Company Institute.

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