Once California’s Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program is open for enrollment, employers with 5 or more employees who do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan will be required to provide their employees with access to the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. The employer mandate will be phased-in gradually over a three-year period, depending on the size of the business, allowing all businesses to successfully adapt to the changes implemented under SB 1234.
Employers with more than 100 employees will be required to offer enrollment into the program within 12 months of implementation, employers with more than 50 employers will have 24 months and those with 5 or more employers will have 36 months. The implementation date is not the date the bill becomes effective, but the date that the program becomes operational.
Employers would have minimal administrative responsibilities. They would only be required to:
- Enable employees to make an automatic contribution from their paycheck into their Secure Choice Account.
- Transmit the payroll contribution to a third party administrator to be determined by the Secure Choice Retirement Savings and Investment Board.
- Provide state developed informational materials about the program to their employees.
- Employers will not have any liability for an employee’s decision to participate in, or opt-out of Secure Choice.
- Employers will not have any liability for the investment decisions of participating employees;
- Employers will not bear responsibility for the administration, investment, or investment performance of the Program.
- Employers will not be liable with regard to Program design, investment returns, and benefits paid to participating employees.
- Employers will not be able to contribute to the employee account unless there was a change in federal law.
Information will continue to be updated as the Secure Choice Retirement Savings and Investment Board finalizes program details.