California Mandated Retirement Benefits
CalSavers is a state-run retirement plan for eligible employees who do not have access to a qualified retirement plan through work. By the end of 2025, most California employers will be required to offer a retirement plan to their employees or provide their employees with access to CalSavers. The phased rollout started in 2020 and includes staggered deadlines for eligible employers to either begin to offer their own retirement plan or register for CalSavers.

Previously, eligible employers were generally those that did not sponsor a retirement plan and had 5 or more California employees. However, on Aug. 26, 2022, Senate Bill 1126 was signed, expanding the term “eligible employer” to include those with one or more employees. Sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals or other business entities that do not employ any individuals other than the owners of the business are excluded from this definition.

Employer Registration Deadlines

The deadline for eligible employers to register with CalSavers is staggered based on employer size. The registration deadlines for many employers have passed. The registration deadline for employers with 5 or more employees was June 30, 2022. Under the new legislation, California employers with one or more eligible employees that do not provide a retirement savings program will have until Dec. 31, 2025, to allow employee participation in the program.

Employer Responsibilities
Employers that register with CalSavers have a limited role with the program’s benefits and operations. CalSavers does not include any employer fees or employer match contributions, and employers are not fiduciaries of the program. Employers’ ongoing responsibilities include only the following:

  • Adding new employees as they become eligible and marking employees as inactive when they leave or are terminated;
  • Processing participating employee contributions; and
  • Updating employee contribution rates with the employer’s payroll software or provider.

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