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State Retirement Program Mandates: What States Have Them and When Do They Take Effect?

Last Updated: December 2, 2022

The following 16 states have enacted retirement savings programs to help individuals save for retirement. Program mandates, structure, and roll-out vary, so be sure to understand how this may apply to you and your company.

States with Mandates
Launched & OperationalPre-Launch ActivityLegislation Introduced
OR, IL, CA, CT, MD, MA, WACO, VA, NM, HI, NJ, ME, NJKS

California

Name: CalSavers

Mandate: Companies with 5+ employees must offer a plan or face a fine of $250 per eligible employee after 90 days of noncompliance and an additional fee of $500 per eligible employee after 180 days of noncompliance.

Timing: As of September 30, 2020, anyone with 100+ employees must have complied; as of June 30, 2021, those with 50+ employees must have complied, and as of June 30, 2022, those with 5+ employees must have complied.

CalSavers first annual deadline for newly eligible employers is December 31, 2022.

Colorado

Name: Colorado Secure Savings Programs

Mandate: Companies that have been in business for 2+ years with 5+ employees must offer a plan or face a fine up to $100 per eligible employee per year (up to max of $5,000 annually).

Timing: The pilot program began in October 2022, enrollment begins in 2023.

Connecticut

Name: MyCTSavings

Mandate: Companies with 5+ employees who are paid more than $5K each in the calendar year must offer a plan, unless the business already offers a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan. Non-compliance may result in an investigation and penalties.

Timing: As of June 30, 2022, anyone with 100+ employees must have complied; as of October 31, 2022, those with 25+ employees must have complied, and by March 30, 2023, those with 5+ employees must have complied.

Delaware

Name: Delaware Earns

Mandate: Once operational, companies with 5+ employees that have been in business in Delaware for at least six months must offer a plan, unless the business already offers a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan. Non-compliance may result in an investigation and penalties.

Timing: Signed into law in August 2022.

Illinois

Name: Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Program

Mandate: Companies with 5+ employees, have been in operation for at least 2 years, and do not offer a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Timing: Already live. Upcoming enrollment deadlines include:

  • No sooner than November 1, 2023: Employers with 5-15 employees must start offering a retirement plan or Illinois Secure Choice

Hawaii

Name: Hawaii Retirement Savings Program

Mandate: Once operational, companies with one or more employees that have been in business in Hawaii must offer a plan, unless the business already offers a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan. Non-compliance may result in an investigation and penalties.

Timing: Signed into law in August 2022.

One aspect that makes Hawaii’s program unique is that saver participation is voluntary - meaning they’ll need to opt in if they want to save with the program. However, there is a benefit to being an early adopter, Hawaii plans to provide a state match of up to $500 to the accounts of the first 50,000 covered employees who participate in the program for twelve consecutive months after initial enrollment.

Maryland

Name: Small Business Retirement Savings Program (Maryland $aves)

Mandate: Mandatory for all companies with automatic payroll processing that have been in business for 2+ years. By offering a plan, the State will waive the annual $300 registration filing fee.

Timing: Employers must register by December 1, 2022 to receive the $300 filing fee waiver in 2023.

Massachusetts

Name: CORE Plan

Type: Multiple Employer Plan (MEP).

Mandate: Voluntary. All nonprofit organizations with ≤20 employees who have payroll administered by an eligible third-party payroll service are allowed to participate.

Timing: Already live.

Maine

Name: Maine Retirement Savings Program

Mandate: Mandatory for companies with 5+ employees, with the following two exceptions: companies who have offered a tax-favored retirement plan at any time in the current or past two calendar years, or companies that have not been in business during both the current and previous calendar year.

Timing: Their legislation has outlined a start date of April 1, 2023, with three registration deadlines, based on company sizes. However, eligible employers of all sizes can voluntarily start offering the program to its employees on April 1, 2023.

New Jersey

Name: New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Fund

Mandate: Companies with 25+ employees (including leased employees) that have been in business 2+ years must offer a plan or face penalties that increase annually. Employers with less than 25 employees and less than 2 years in business can join voluntarily. Governmental employers and independent contractors are excluded. NJ businesses that don’t adhere to state-mandated retirement legislation within one year will receive a written warning from the government. Each subsequent year of non-compliance will result in these penalties:

  • 2nd year: $100 per employee
  • 3rd and 4th years: $250 per employee
  • 5th year and beyond: $500 per employee

Timing: To be determined, as the program is not yet operational.

New Mexico

Name: New Mexico Work and Save Program

Types: Planning to change their legislation in 2023 to mandate employer participation for eligible businesses. Will partner with Colorado SecureSavings Program.

Mandate: Voluntary. All companies with their primary place of business located in New Mexico are eligible.

Timing: Launching July 1, 2024.

New York

Name: New York State Secure Choice Savings Program

Mandate: Requires most employers with 10 or more employees to provide retirement options for workers. Senate Bill S5395A requires private sector employers that have been in business for two years and who have not offered a retirement program in that time to automatically enroll their employees in New York’s program.

Timing: Launch date to be determined.

Oregon

Name: OregonSaves

Mandate: All employers that don’t already offer a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Timing: Already live and mandatory for all companies with 5+ employees; There is a 3/1/23 deadline for businesses with 1-4 employees.

Vermont

Name: Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan

Type: MEP designed for employers with 50 or less employees (including self-employed) and employers that currently do not offer a retirement plan.

Mandate: Voluntary.

Timing: Launch date to be determined.

Virginia

Name: RetirePathVA

Mandate: Mandatory for companies with 25+ employees that have been in business for 2+ years and do not already offer a qualified retirement plan to employees. Other program details are still being finalized.

Timing: Scheduled to launch on or before July 1, 2023.

Washington

Name: Retirement Small Business Marketplace (run by the Washington State Department of Commerce)

Types: Participating financial service providers offer 9 types of low-cost IRAs and 401(k)s to companies with less than 100 employees including sole proprietors and self-employed.

Mandate: Voluntary.

Timing: Already live.


Additionally, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming have all introduced legislation but no word yet on when or if they will offer plans.

Interested in offering a 401(k)? It's easier than you think.