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State-Mandated Retirement Plan

Several states have started mandating that employers of a certain size must offer their employees a qualified retirement plan or their state IRA as a group benefit. Currently, 30 states are working to create state-mandated retirement programs and 12 states have already passed legislation. See a breakdown of each of these state programs below:


StateProgram Description
CAThe CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA program. 

The CalSavers program ensures nearly all Californians have access to a workplace retirement savings program by offering employees a completely voluntary, low cost, portable retirement savings vehicle with professionally managed investments and oversight from a public, transparent board of directors, chaired by the California State Treasurer.

Any employer with at least five California-based employees, at least one of whom is age eighteen, that doesn’t already offer a workplace retirement savings vehicle will be required by state law to either begin offering one via the private market or provide their employees access to CalSavers.


Employers must implement the Colorado Secure Savings Program for their employees if they have:

  • Five or more employees at anytime during the calendar year
  • Been in business at least two years, and
  • Not offered a qualified retirement plan in the preceding two years

Connecticut requires participation from employers with five (5) or more employees and which do not currently offer a retirement plan to employees. Private employers with four or fewer employees may also choose to offer the plan but are not required.

All employees earning wages in the state of Connecticut and employed for at least 120 days will be automatically enrolled in the state plan. Employers are not permitted to make contributions to the program.

ILIllinois Secure Choice is a state-facilitated retirement program that makes it easy to save for retirement. Since its launch in 2018, the program has brought retirement savings access to workers in every county across Illinois. Not only is Illinois Secure Choice open to employees who work for an eligible employer, the program is available to anyone who wants to enroll on their own and start saving.

Illinois Secure Choice is a mandatory state-sponsored retirement savings program for employers with 25 or more employees that do not already offer a plan.
MAMassachusetts has limits to its state mandated retirement plans to nonprofit organizations with 20 or fewer employees. The Massachusetts Defined Contribution CORE Plan does permit nonprofits with 20 or fewer employees to offer retirement benefits through a 401(k) multiple employer plan (MEP). 
MDMaryland House Bill 1378 and Senate Bill 1007 set up the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust, which provides for automatic enrollment in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) of private sector employees. The program took effect on July 1, 2016. Employers with at least 10 eligible employees are required to enroll in the program, which also automatically enrolls employees to contribute 3 percent of their pay to the fund. 
NJNew Jersey Secure Choice program is a state-sponsored retirement savings plan for businesses to offer employees in lieu of a qualified plan. This mandate requires all New Jersey employers that have been in business for 2+ years and who have 25+ W-2 employees to provide a retirement plan to their employees.
NMThe marketplace will begin operation by July 1, 2021, and the state-run auto-IRA program will be available for covered employees by January 1, 2022.
NYThe New York State Secure Choice Savings Program creates a self-sufficient retirement savings program in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA, and establishes an administrative board responsible for promoting greater retirement savings for private sector employees in a convenient, low-cost, and transferable manner.
OROregonSaves is a Roth IRA retirement savings initiative sponsored by the state of Oregon. The program is available to Oregon-based private sector employers that do not offer a company-sponsored retirement plan. OregonSaves is also accessible to self-employed residents.

OregonSaves is mandatory only for employers that do not offer a qualified retirement plan. The program is completely voluntary for employees.
VTVermont’s public retirement plan is available to private sector companies with 50 or fewer employees that do not currently offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan to full- or part-time workers. Companies that meet these criteria may opt-in to the plan when it is available. No employer contributions to the plan are required, as the program is funded by employee contributions. However, an option for future voluntary employer contributions is built into the design of the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan as it stands now.
WAFor employees who do not already have a work-sponsored retirement plan option, the Retirement Marketplace can help them get started but is not an exhaustive listing of all retirement savings options. Likewise, if employees feel they are not already saving enough through an employer plan, they can supplement workplace retirement savings with an individual account.

All of the plans on the marketplace are verified and approved by Washington State officials, and the financial services providers listed cannot charge more than 1% in total annual administrative fees to those who enroll. The plans must also undergo an annual review and renewal process. 

Interested workers can review plans, choose and customize the one that best fits their needs, and enroll through the provider’s website.

*This information is not exhaustive. Please review your state's specific guidelines for more information.

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