Illinois enrolls Ascensus for Secure Choice program

Illinois State Treasurer's Office, Springfield, hired Ascensus as program manager for the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, pending final contract negotiations, said a spokeswoman for the treasurer's office.

An RFP was issued in spring for a firm to run the program's day-to-day operations.

Illinois' Secure Choice Savings Program is an auto enrollment, payroll-deducted retirement savings account for certain private-sector employees whose employers do not offer retirement plans. Applicable employees are expected to be enrolled using a phased-in approach, starting in 2018. The program was passed by the Illinois Legislature in December 2014 and signed into law on Jan. 4, 2015.

The investment lineup is expected to include a limited number of fund options, all passively managed.

A suite of passive target-date funds will be the default option. Off-the-shelf and custom glidepaths will be considered.

Some 1.2 million workers are expected to be covered under Illinois' Secure Choice program.