The first round of notices to employers participating in the nation's largest state-sponsored retirement program are going out this week, CalSavers officials said Thursday.
The automatic enrollment payroll-deduction IRA program is also now open to those who are self-employed or work for non-mandated employers, as well as those who work in the so-called gig economy.
The program, open to all California employers with five or more employees who don't already offer a retirement program, requires employers with more than 100 employees to register by June 30, 2020. Employers with 50-100 employees have until 2021 and those with five to 50 have until 2022.
Employees, who can opt out, can choose their own contribution rates up to standard IRA maximums, and are automatically enrolled at 5%. The accounts are portable.
The CalSavers program was officially launched July 1 after a six-month pilot program. Feedback from employers and employees in the pilot led to addition of an ESG fund as one of five investment options.
As of Sept. 30, 230 employers had signed up and 2,285 individual accounts were funded.
An estimated 7.5 million California workers are without retirement savings plans, CalSavers is operated as a private-public partnership and is overseen by the California Secure Choice Retirement Investment Board chaired by California Treasurer Fiona Ma, who said that making them available to all types of workers was key. "Portability is increasingly important in today's economy and everyone should have a consistent way to save regardless of the ups and down of work," she said in a statement.