New retirement safety net: Forced savings?

Surveys show that 40 percent of baby boomers have virtually nothing saved for retirement and most people making less than $40,000 have no retirement plan through their jobs.

Illinois is testing a fix.

This summer or fall, the state will launch the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. Workers who don’t opt out will see an automatic withdrawal from each of their paychecks. The funds will be pooled and stewarded by a professional management firm.  

The goal is to ensure workers with modest incomes will still have some form of retirement savings, even if they don’t have access to a plan through their work – or if they lack the discipline to save for themselves.

TRENDPOST: States are facing a wave of elderly too poor to retire but also possibly not well enough to earn a livable income. California and others are mulling similar rescue plans and will watch how Illinois’ pilot project develops. As in Illinois, the politics surrounding state-forced retirement plans will be sticky, but practicality will overcome ideology in most places.

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