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Illinois Secure Choice – Saving Countless Hours of Explanation During Tax Season

Posted 11/18/2019


Illinois has Mandated Retirement for all workers of Illinois that work for an employer of 25 workers and do not already have a retirement plan offered. This is our general understanding of the program and Employer and Employee must both be aware of this legislation. Our interpretation could change, be advised to investigate your individual responsibility as Employer and Employee. 

EMPLOYERS
Keep in mind, turnover counts. If you have one employee, they quit and are replaced, this will count as two for the Secure Choice Legislation. What does the employer need to know? The IL Secure Choice has established a web portal where you can log in and see which of your employees are enrolled. Then you are required to withhold and remit 5% of the employee’s wages. The Illinois Unemployment Report is being used to track employers of over 25 and the eligible employees. Secure Choice will send a notice to an Employee, should they fail to respond, automatic enrollment will occur. YES, AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT when an employee fails to respond. Once they are enrolled, the employer must monitor the web portal to know when they have an employee that is enrolled. Failure to comply will mean the employer will have the burden of the 5% plus penalties. It is our understanding the Employer should not communicate with the employee as the Secure Choice folks are afraid you might encourage non-participation.  In effect, there is a “gag order” on the employer regarding this program. Our advice to employers is to monitor the portal and withhold as instructed. If an employee approaches you about the withholding, point them to Illinois Secure Choice office and end the discussion.


EMPLOYEES
You should, or might have already, received correspondence in the mail regarding enrollment in the program. If you wish to enroll, you can do nothing. If you wish to opt out, you must respond. There is also a web portal where you can manage your enrollment. Keep in mind, this is a mandated program and your failure to respond will result in 5% of your wage being deducted and remitted to the Illinois Secure Choice Program. Once the deduction from wage begins, it is our understanding that only you can log in and change it. Don’t get upset with your employer, their hands are tied. They must withhold and they can’t influence your decision in anyway. They really should not discuss this with your at all. This is clearly between you and the State of Illinois.

Gee, what can go wrong here?