New Online Employer Experience

Starting on May 25, 2022, we will begin launching the new Illinois Secure Choice employer portal. Designed with input from Illinois employers, the new experience will better support you as you manage your Secure Choice activities. Learn more

Eligibility and Registration


Illinois state law requires Illinois employers to participate in Illinois Secure Choice if they do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan, have 5 or more employees and have been in business for more than two years. *
 

Employers who have fewer than 5 employees, have been in business for less than two years, or who already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are exempt from facilitating the program.

If your business is not exempt, it must complete company registration with the Illinois Secure Choice program to meet your state mandate.

When should this step be completed?

You must complete registration by your state mandated deadline.

Information you will need to complete this step:

To start registration or request an exemption:

If you are registering:

If you are requesting an exemption:

What comes next?

After your complete this step, you are required to add your roster of employees within 30 days of registration. Illinois Secure Choice will then notify your employees about the program, initiating a 30-day opt-out window. You will begin to send employee contributions for those that do not opt out during the period. Employees who do not customize their account or opt out during this period will be automatically enrolled in Illinois Secure Choice.

 

Frequently asked questions

What counts as an employer-sponsored retirement plan?

An employer-sponsored retirement plan includes a plan qualified under Internal Revenue Code sections:

  • 401(a) or 401(k) plan) - Qualified plan (including profit sharing plans and defined benefits plans)
  • 403(a) - Qualified annuity plan
  • 403(b) - Tax-sheltered annuity
  • 408(k) - Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan
  • 408(p) - SIMPLE IRA plan
  • 457(b) - Governmental tax-deferred compensation plan
  • or Taft-Hartley plan

It does not include payroll deduction IRAs.

Can I have a designee, such as my payroll services provider, complete my company registration and enrollment process?

Yes you can have a designee. An authorized representative of the employer will need to complete the registration process. The authorized representative can then add employees or representatives from an external non-payroll vendor as delegates to help facilitate the program. Representatives from your external payroll provider can be added as payroll representatives to assist as well.

Can my company join the program before its required registration date?

Yes. Required registration dates are ‘comply by’ dates. Employers may initiate contact with Illinois Secure Choice to begin facilitating the program or to indicate their exemption. There may be some restrictions on employers who do not wish to use the Illinois Secure Choice website or other forms of electronic submission.

How will I know when I have to register for the program and enroll my employees?

The Board has established an implementation timeline that is available on this website. The account administrator will notify employers of the date(s) they may begin registration and start enrolling their employees and when that process must be complete. The account administrator will also provide employers with access to an online portal to register for the Program and facilitate enrollment of their employees.

Is there a penalty for businesses for failing to comply with the mandate?

Yes. Any business with employees in Illinois that does not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan, employs 5 or more employees, and has been in business for more than 2 years will be required to facilitate the Illinois Secure Choice program for its employees. The goal is to make the process simple, clear, and easy. During each employer registration phase, the State will monitor compliance, reach out to employers, and provide technical assistance to help them meet deadlines and requirements. Employers who do not comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act may be subject to fines and penalties as described in 820 ILCS 80/85. Enforcement for non-compliant employers with 25 or more employees will begin in 2022.

What is the difference between company registration and enrollment?

During the registration process, you provide basic information about your business to determine if you must facilitate the Illinois Secure Choice program. If you are required to facilitate, you will complete an enrollment process where you will verify or provide a limited amount of additional information about your participating employees and complete the process.