CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, California's state-run auto-IRA savings plan that employers without a retirement plan must offer to their workers, reported strong gains in assets, funded accounts and employers registering for the program, according to its 2021 Year in Review released Thursday.
Assets in the program jumped to more than $173 million as of Dec. 31, up more than six-fold from $28 million the year before. CalSavers also posted healthy gains in funded retirement savings accounts, at 218,000 as of Dec. 31, more than double the 96,000 it had in 2020.
In aggregate, savers were contributing $16 million per month, with an average individual monthly contribution of $150. Average account balances rose to $794 from $295, according to the report.
"As the second year of the pandemic changed how we live and work in ever-morphing ways, workers in every corner of California persevered and hundreds of thousands of them made CalSavers a part of their recovery," Katie Selenski, CalSavers executive director, said in the report.
The number of registered employers more than tripled during the year to more than 23,000, from 7,278, as employers hit registration deadlines. The registration deadline for businesses with more than 100 employees was Sept. 30, 2020, while the deadline for those with more than 50 employees was June 30, 2021.
Despite the lapsed deadlines, many employers are still non-compliant, with some 381 having failed to register for the program, Ms. Selenski said in an email.
CalSavers Retirement Savings Board, in partnership with the California Franchise Tax Board, this month will begin to impose penalties for non-compliant employers, levying a penalty of $250 per employee. If non-compliance persists for more than 90 days, an additional $500 per employee will be assessed, for a total $750 per employee penalty for sustained non-compliance.
CalSavers will be issuing the penalties via mail following "nearly three years of outreach efforts by CalSavers," Ms. Selenski said in the email.
"Our staff is working hard to reach non-responsive employers by phone to inform them of their status and impending penalties," she said.