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Illinois Secure Choice: Nothing is Free

Illinois Secure Choice: Nothing is Free

| August 29, 2019

In 1975, economist Milton Friedman wrote a book titled, “There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.” This popular phrase teaches us idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. Somebody or something must pay a cost, seen or unseen.

The Southern Illinoisan, a newspaper out of Carbondale, IL recently published an article on Herald & Review titled, “What others are saying: Illinois Secure Choice a rare state win-win.” In the article they describe how they “we could find nothing scary about Illinois Secure Choice.” They talk about the flexibility of the system and the investment options. The article states, “There are no onerous regulations and no cost for employers. They are already making payroll deductions. It's simply a matter of filling in one more box.” Towards the end though, they do admit saving in Illinois Secure Choice will not amount to much in terms of retirement savings.

Again, this all might look great on paper, but a storm is brewing. The Illinois Secure Choice system hasn’t been tested. Between the paperwork, time wasted, confusion, and lost productivity (note: these are all employer expenses…but hey, at least the state or employees don’t pay anything so it’s free, right?), you will struggle and become quickly frustrated. The authors of the article are blinded to the impending harsh reality.

Here’s the problem. Politicians and newspaper editorial boards have never run a business. They don’t know or understand the sacrifices it takes. They don’t know what it takes to make payroll. They take an “employee” approach to problems rather than an employer/entrepreneur. They don’t see the time and effort involved. Instead, they offload the personal responsibility of savings for one’s own retirement on the employer.

It’s not that employers don’t want to help their employee save for retirement and a success future; It’s the fact the state government forces a poorly designed system on them.


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®
(847) 400-7882