Administer Illinois Secure Choice

Eligibility and Registration

Employers in Illinois who meet all of the following criteria will be required to facilitate Illinois Secure Choice:

  • Have 25 or more employees
  • Have been in operation for at least two years
  • Do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan

Registration information

You’ll be notified by the Program when it's time for your business to register. You’ll need the following information before you begin:

  • Federal Employer Identification or Tax Identification Number (EIN/TIN)
  • Illinois Secure Choice access code from your notification

What if I already offer a retirement savings plan?

We’re glad you’re already taking steps to help your employees save for retirement. Illinois Secure Choice does not apply to employers who already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan, so you have no action to take at this time.

Add Delegates or Payroll Representatives

Add delegates: You decide who at your company will help you facilitate Illinois Secure Choice. You can assign your associates to various roles that give them different levels of responsibility and authorization within the program.

Add payroll representatives: You can also use an external payroll vendor to help you facilitate the program. Make sure you have their company information, their contact information, and how they will be interacting with your account when you’re ready to add them to your account.

Ability to Payroll Processor Supervisor Adminstrator External Payroll Representative
Add/edit Employees
Edit payroll list
Submit contributions
Add users  
Edit company info and bank info    
Changer user access    

Payroll Setup

Before you can add employees, you must add at least one payroll list to your account and set a payroll date that is at least 30 days from the date you create the payroll list. In order to create a payroll list, you’ll need:

  • Business location
  • Compensation type
  • Pay cycle
  • Date of the first contribution

We encourage you to organize payroll in a way that makes sense for your business.

Add Employees

Once you’ve created your payroll list(s), you’ll need to add all employees so that we can contact them to either manage their account and make saving elections, or provide what actions to take if they choose to opt out of the program.

There are two options to add employee information:

If you only have a few employees to add, manually entering their information is likely the easiest method.


If you have many employees to add, we recommend using our Employee Information Template to upload the information, located in our Resource Library. To prevent upload errors, follow these template guidelines. If there are any errors, we’ll identify them for you so you can make any necessary changes and upload a new file.

In order to add employees, you’ll need their:

  • Contact information (address, phone, and email)
  • Legal name
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Date of birth

NOTE: It’s important to enter all employee information accurately - we’ll need this information to verify their identity and contact them about their account.

Enter and Send Contributions

During your usual payroll process, you will be deducting a percentage of each participating employee’s pay and remitting it to the plan.

Information can be entered either manually by using an online form or in bulk using the Employee Contribution Template. You can remit funds by:

  • ACH push
  • ACH pull
  • Wire
  • Check

You must remit the contributions and information as soon as administratively possible, but no later than seven business days after deduction from an employee’s compensation.

The default contribution rate is 5% of gross pay, but your employees can change their contribution rate or opt out at any time. Your Illinois Secure Choice message center in the employer portal will alert you to employee contribution rate changes so you know when to make adjustments.

To ensure everything is working properly on the first contribution date, we recommend testing payroll files.

Ongoing Maintenance

Once your Illinois Secure Choice employer account is set up and ready to go, you’ll be responsible for ongoing maintenance.

Updating contribution rates and submitting payroll contributions

If your employees change their contribution rate, you’ll need to update their contribution rate and their payroll deduction amount as soon as administratively possible.

With every pay cycle, you’ll submit contributions using the Illinois Secure Choice employer portal.

Set up new employees

As your business changes or grows, you will need to add new employees in the Illinois Secure Choice employer portal. Just like your existing employees, new workers will receive notification from us and have 30 days to set up their account or opt out before automatic payroll deductions begin. As the employer, you will have 60 days from their hire date to enroll them in the plan.

Maintaining records

All records associated with Illinois Secure Choice should be kept for three years.

1Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Feasibility Study: Illinois Secure Choice, March 2017

2AARP Access to Workplace Retirement Plans by Race and Ethnicity Fact Sheet