On Oct. 21, 2021, Governor Hochul signed AB 3213 into law, making significant changes to New York’s state-sponsored retirement program. The program, called the New York State Secure Choice Savings Program (Secure Choice), was originally enacted in 2018 and was voluntary for employers. The 2021 amendments to the law make the program mandatory for covered employers and ensure that employees are automatically enrolled (with the option to opt out), among other changes.
The program offers a Roth Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) to employees in New York who do not have access to a tax-qualified retirement program through work. It is overseen by the New York State Secure Choice Savings Board (the Board).
Employers in New York must participate in Secure Choice if they meet the following criteria:
- They are engaged in a business, industry, profession, trade or other enterprise in New York State, whether for profit or not for profit;
- They have had 10 or more employees at all times during the previous calendar year;
- They have not offered a qualified retirement plan in the last two years.
Participating employers must provide a payroll deposit retirement savings arrangement within nine months after the Board opens Secure Choice for enrollment (date to be determined). Following the program’s initial implementation, the program must designate an open enrollment period at least once every year during which employees who previously opted out may enroll.
Participating employers also must:
- Automatically enroll each of their employees in the program (except those who have opted out); and
- Deposit funds into the program’s payroll deduction IRA on behalf of their employees.
The deduction of contributions from an employee’s wages must not begin until the 30th day after the employee has been enrolled.
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