As we get closer to the November 1st deadline for companies with 25 to 99 employees, more employers are starting to realize the impending unknowns, time, hassle, and threat the Illinois Secure Choice retirement program might have on their business operations. Turns out, this isn’t so “free” after all. The official notice, sent by USPS or via email if an email address is on file, should arrive at the beginning of October. The state of Illinois is required to send them out 30 days prior to the deadline. If you don’t receive a notice, please contact the Employer Assistance Client Services Team at Illinois Secure Choice at (855) 650-6913.
Failing to receive a notice will not exempt you from potential fines. As a reminder, employers who ignore the mandate and miss the deadlines will be penalized $250 per employee in 2019, and $500 per employee in subsequent years. This means a 25 person company ignoring the mandate will be fined $6,250 in 2019 and $12,500 for all subsequent years. Although the treasurer’s office said in a recent interview the goal is voluntary compliance and no fines have yet been levied, do not expect leniency. This is where the state of Illinois will make their money.
Industries are well aware of the disruption the Illinois Secure Choice retirement program will cause. For example, Restaurants Solutions Inc., a company selling new and used restaurant equipment, recently wrote an article stating, “New laws create confusion and uncertainty on many levels and ensuring you remain in compliance is the only way to ensure that you’re not hit with heavy fines that may cost you more than you’re prepared to take on.”
Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Make sure you take the time to prepare and seek the assistance you need.
If you have any questions, need additional information, or would like to talk about other retirement plan options, please do not hesitate to contact Associated Pension Services, Inc. We have been involved in the retirement plan administration business for over 30 years, helping small business owners and HR managers like yourself navigate, establish, and implement retirement solutions. You don't need to go at this alone.
Frederic (Eric) Hoffman, IV, AIF®, CPFA, APR, RICP®