Applies to employers in New York State employing 10+ employees in the state and no qualified retirement plan for last two years
Employers employing 10 or more employees who do not offer a retirement plan will be required to automatically enroll employees in the Secure Choice Savings Program according to a law signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on October 21, 2021.
In 2018, the Secure Choice Savings Program, a voluntary program, was enacted. Under the recently signed law it will be mandatory if a retirement has not been offered for two years.
Participating employers shall automatically enroll their employees in the program, unless the employee opts out, provide payroll deduction arrangements, and deposit funds into the program on behalf of its employees. A participating employer shall have a payroll deduction arrangement available for its employees at most nine months after the board opens the program for enrollment.
Participating employer means an employer that facilitates access to the program's payroll deduction IRA for its employees who are enrollees in the program.
Participating employers shall supply the employee informational materials to existing employees at least one month prior to the program being implemented. The employee informational material should be given to new employees at the time of hiring. An eligible employee is any individual who is 18 years of age or older and who is employed and earns wages working for an employer in New York.
An enrollee shall contribute 3% percent of his/her wages unless he/she opts for a different percentage, a flat dollar amount or waives participation in the program. The contributions are employee funded and will begin 30 days after the employee has been enrolled in the program.
An employee who opts out of the program and who subsequently wants to participate may only enroll during the program's designated open enrollment period (at least once every year) or if permitted by the program at an earlier time.
As a reminder, in June of this year, New York City passed a law requiring most employers to offer a qualified retirement plan or participate in the newly created city-run retirement savings program (see June 2021 Benefit Beat article here).
The law took effect August 9, 2021, however, the board has up to two years to implement the program. Employers will want to continue to monitor this law for coordination with the state law. It is possible New York City will withdraw its ordinance given the state mandate.
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