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Defined Contribution

Maryland picks CEO for secure choice program

Maryland State House in Annapolis

David Belnick was named executive director and CEO of the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Board on Monday.

The board will oversee development of the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program. Created by bipartisan legislation enacted in 2016, the program expected to start in 2019 will require employers not offering some form of workplace retirement savings to automatically enroll employees in a payroll-deduction individual retirement account. An estimated 1 million Marylanders work full-time but do not have retirement plans available at work.

Previously, Mr. Belnick managed the relationships and retirement programs for Nationwide Retirement Solutions on behalf of members of the National Association of Counties. He has also worked with the Nationwide team supporting the $4 billion Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plan, and retirement plans for Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

"For a decade, Dave Belnick served state of Maryland employees as a contractor working to improve the state's supplemental retirement savings plan. Now, working with our board, he'll be able to extend retirement security to hundreds of thousands who don't have any workplace plan at all," said board Chairman Joshua Gotbaum in a statement.

The program was approved for $900,000 in startup funds from the state, but is intended to be self-financed from fees collected on the funds in the IRAs. It will offer several privately managed investment options, with a default option if an employee doesn't want to choose. Participants can adjust their contribution rates or opt out of the program.