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Colorado SecureSavings: Everything You Need to Know

Colorado SecureSavings: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated: July 19, 2023

In 2020, approximately a million Colorado employees did not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer, making it difficult to build a nest egg for their golden years. However, the state of Colorado has stepped up to meet this challenge with a solution of their own: The Colorado SecureSavings program.

The retirement savings program, overseen by the Colorado Department of Treasury, allows employees without access to company-sponsored programs to save for their retirement. The program is open to all eligible Colorado residents and their contributions will be placed into an individual retirement account (IRA).

In this article, we'll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Colorado SecureSavings Program and explain how it works and what it means for you.

What Is the Colorado SecureSavings Program?

Colorado SecureSavings is a voluntary, government-sponsored savings program created to help employees working in Colorado build savings for retirement.

Colorado employees can make contributions to the program through automatic deductions from their paycheck into a Roth individual savings account (Roth IRA), unless they choose to opt out.

How Does Colorado SecureSavings Work?

Colorado SecureSavings is an automatic enrollment retirement savings program that places contributions into a Roth IRA, which means that contributions are made with after-tax dollars.

Upon enrollment, employees will be opted into the 5% default savings rate for Colorado SecureSavings, but can change their contribution rate at any time. Additionally, an employee’s account will “travel with” them even if they change jobs or leave the state.

Keep in mind that the program is voluntary for employees and provides flexibility. They are not required to participate and can always opt out or back in at any time.

Which Businesses Are Affected?

Companies offering qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plans are not required to use the Colorado SecureSavings program. However, if your business falls under the criteria below, you are required to register for the program or certify an exemption:

  • Has at least five employees
  • Does not already offer a qualified retirement program
  • Has been active for more than two years

Registration Deadline

The registration deadlines for all businesses with 5+ employees have passed.

  • Employers with 50 or more employees | March 15, 2023
  • Employers with 15 - 49 employees | May 15, 2023
  • Employers with 5 - 14 employees | June 30, 2023

Penalties

Eligible employers must offer a plan or face a fine up to $100 per eligible employee per year (up to max of $5,000 annually).

Who is Eligible to Enroll with Colorado SecureSavings?

The program is open to all Colorado residents who:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have earned taxable wages in the state

Employees who are added through their employer will automatically have 5% of their wages deposited into a Roth IRA account unless they opt out or choose to customize their account. Eligible residents can also choose to join the program and save on their own.

Conclusion

The Colorado SecureSavings program represents a notable development in retirement planning for Colorado workers. With automatic enrollment and contributions made directly through payroll deductions, it simplifies the process of setting aside funds for retirement.

The program requires businesses that have been active for more than two years and have five or more employees to either offer a plan or certify an exemption, so it’s important for Colorado employers to familiarize themselves with the program details and requirements.

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