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

The following 14 states have enacted retirement savings programs to help individuals put aside for retirement. Program mandates, structure, and roll-out vary so be sure to understand how (and if) this applies to you and your company.


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 by June 30, 2022, those with 5+ employees must comply.


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 begins in October 2022, enrollment begins in 2023.


Name: MyCTSavings

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

Timing: Pilot launched in November 2021, with full launch slated for early 2022.


Name: Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Program

Mandate: Companies with 25+ employees, have been in operation for at least 2 years, and do not offer a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan. Legislation has been recently enacted that lowers the threshold from 25 to 5 employees. The enrollment deadlines for companies with less than 25 employees will be in waves starting in 2022.

Timing: Already live. Upcoming enrollment deadlines include:

  • No sooner than November 1, 2022: Employers with 16-24 employees must start offering a retirement plan
  • No sooner than November 1, 2023: Employers with 5-15 employees must start offering a retirement plan


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 filing fee.

Timing: Mid-2022.


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.


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: Launching April 1, 2023, the program will be implemented in three phases, based on company size, with the following enrollment deadlines:

  • April 1, 2023: Employers with 25 or more employees in Maine must start offering the program
  • October 1, 2023: Employers with 15 to 24 employees in Maine must start offering the program
  • April 1, 2024: Employers with 5 to 14 employees in Maine must start offering the program

However, eligible employers of all sizes can voluntarily start offering the program to its employees on April 1, 2021.

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: Extended to March 28, 2022.

New Mexico

Name: New Mexico Work and Save Program

Types: Hybrid program consisting of a voluntary IRA and web marketplace. Marketplace options to be determined by the Board.

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 without a current retirement plan to automatically enroll their employees in New York’s program.

Timing: Expected to launch in 2022.


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; Targeting late 2022 mandate for companies with less than 5 employees.


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: Expected to launch in 2021.


Name: VirginiaSaves Program

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.Noncompliance may result in fines of up to $200 per eligible employee. The Board is still finalizing details.

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


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.