Updated May 21, 2024

GRF Post - State-Mandated Retirement Plans An Overview for Businesses

Many Americans are not saving enough for retirement – in fact, a recent survey by the Federal Reserve found that a quarter of working adults have no retirement savings at all. To address this growing crisis, a number of states are enacting laws that require private businesses to provide employee retirement plans. The requirement comes with the option to enroll in a state-sponsored program, which provides a low-cost way for small businesses to offer a retirement plan. You do not need to enroll in a state-sponsored option if your business already offers an employee retirement plan – as long as the plan meets your state’s requirements. However, you might be subject to penalties if your business does not offer a retirement program and your state has a mandate for which you qualify.

Is your business impacted?

More than 30 states have considered enacting state-mandated retirement plan legislation, and 17 states now have laws enabling state-sponsored retirement plans. Keep in mind that even if your state does not require a workplace retirement plan, you may still be required to comply if you have a requisite number of employees reporting income in a state that does.

States with mandatory retirement plan requirements, or have plans underway (as of August 2023)


CalSavers – www.calsavers.com
Current registration started on January 1, 2023.
Enrollment deadlines:
• December 31, 2023 | 5 or more employees
• December 31, 2025 | 1 to 4 employees


Colorado Secure Savings Program – https://coloradosecuresavings.com
Enrollment deadlines:
• March 15, 2023 | 50-plus employees
• May 15, 2023 | 15 to 49 employees
• June 30, 2023 | 5 to 14 employees


MyCTSavings – https://myctsavings.com
Enrollment deadlines:
• June 30, 2022 | 100 or more employees
• October 31, 2022 | 26 to 99 employees
• March 30, 2023 | 5 to 25 employees
Important timelines:
• Starting July 2023 | Newly eligible businesses should expect to receive notifications to take action because they added employees and are now above the 5 employee threshold or because business started before October 1 of last year.
• Starting August 2023 | Businesses that were previously notified will receive a final reminder to register or certify their exemption.


DE Earns – https://news.delaware.gov/2022/08/18/deearns
More than 5 employees (Program Implementation to be scheduled by January 1, 2025)


Hawaii Retirement Savings Program – https://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/hrsp (Details Pending)


Illinois Secure Choice – www.ilsecurechoice.com
Enrollment deadlines:
• ASAP: 16 or more employees (deadline passed, registration as soon as possible)
• November 1, 2023 | 5 to 15 employees


Signed into law, scheduled
Any covered employer may voluntarily offer the program after April 1, 2023.
Enrollment beginning in 2023 with the following proposed dates:
• April 1, 2023 | 25 or more employees
• October 1, 2023 | 15 to 24 employees
• April 1, 2024 | 5 to 14 employees


Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program – www.marylandsaves.org
Enrollment deadlines:
• ASAP: One or more employees
• Employers who sign up by December 1, can save $300 of the annual registration fee beginning in 2023, and every year after.
Download PDF Guide for Maryland Saves


Massachusetts Defined Contribution CORE Plan – www.empower.com/client/mass/employer
• Currently only enacted for the state’s nonprofit sector.
• The Massachusetts Defined Contribution CORE Plan (CORE Plan) is a 401(k) plan, which also provides a Roth 401(k) option.
• All common-law employees of a participating employer are eligible to participate in the CORE Plan. Unless they elect otherwise, they will be automatically enrolled in the Plan no sooner than 60 days after receiving the CORE Plan’s autoenrollment notice. A CORE Plan account can be activated as soon as the participating employer receives its enrollment notification letter, without a 60-day waiting period.
• Opt-out is available either online or by calling a participant services representative at 844-365-CORE (2673).


Minnesota Secure Choice Retirement program – (Program Implementation to be scheduled by January 1, 2025)


(Details Pending)

New Jersey

The New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program – www.eanj.org/engagement/newsroom/new-jersey-secure-choice-savings-program-what-employers-should-do-now (Details pending)

New Mexico

New Mexico Work and Save Program – https://nmsto.gov/special-programs/work-and-save (Details pending)

New York

(Details Pending – program has not yet been implemented)


Oregon Saves – www.oregonsaves.com
Enrollment Deadlines
• March 1, 2023 | 3 or more employees
• July 31, 2023 | One to 2 employees


VT Saves – https://legislature.vermont.gov
• July 1, 2025 | 25 or more employees
• January 1, 2026 | 15 to 24 more employees
• July 1, 2026 | 5 to 14 employees


Retire Path VA – www.retirepathva.com
Employer Registration:
• July, 2023 | All eligible employers can register (no penalty announced as of August 9, 2023)
• February 15, 2024 | 25 or more employees
Download PDF Guide for Retire Path VA


Washington Small Business Retirement – https://retirement-marketplace.com
Enrollment Deadlines
• ASAP | One to 100 employees

We Can Help You Navigate Retirement Plan Options for Your Business

State-sponsored retirement plans have pros and cons. Government-sponsored programs are generally a low-cost solution with few fiduciary responsibilities for employers. Government sponsored plans tend to have inflexible, less options within, and limited tax favored features. Businesses should evaluate accordingly whether a privately offered retirement plan vs government sponsored plan would be more suited for them.

For more information, reach out to the GRF tax team to discuss strategies for your workplace retirement plan.

Jennifer Galstad-Lee, CPA, JD

Former Senior Manager, Tax