State treasurer talks to Sterling bistro workers about Secure Choice retirement savings plan

State treasurer Michael Frerichs speaks with Christine Siperly Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Siperly, a Smoked on Third server, is one of 520 workers in Lee and Whiteside counties to be enrolled in the state’s Secure Choice retirement savings program. The program travels with the workers making it easier to save. Restaurant owner Michelle Burns (center) is very happy the program is available to her staff, including son Carson Burns (middle-left).

STERLING — State Treasurer Michael Frerichs visited Smoked on Third: BBQ, Bistro and Catering on Tuesday to talk to employees who are enrolled in the state’s Secure Choice retirement savings plan.

According to a release from the treasurer’s office, there are 520 workers in the Sterling area enrolled in the program. They have, collectively, accrued more than $524,000 in savings. Statewide, more than 100,000 workers and 6,400 employers are taking part.

Most Illinois businesses in operation for two years are required to provide a qualified retirement plan. Secure Choice being the state’s option.

Individual workers can also elect to use the state-run savings plan.

Participants are enrolled in an Roth IRA with a default 5% payroll contribution. Accounts are owned by the individual and move with workers as they change jobs.

Secure Choice is run by a seven-person board and the state treasurer serves as chairman.

The Secure Choice Savings Program launched in 2018 and was phased in so it was available to larger employers first. By November, it will encompass employers with at least 16 people on the payroll. By November 2024, it will be for employers with five or more workers.

Enrollment information can be found at Employers can call 855-650-6913, workers at 855-650-6914 or make email inquiries at

Shaw Local News Network

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