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CalSavers deadline fast approaching: Answers to 6 frequently asked questions your California small business should know

Many California small businesses would like to offer retirement options to their employees—to help attract a talented workforce and boost employee morale—but can’t afford the overhead and administrative costs. The state now requires that all businesses with five or more employees facilitate employee participation in CalSavers if they don’t already have a retirement plan in place. Businesses are being phased into the program over time based on their number of employees.

Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about CalSavers, including key deadlines and how this program may benefit your small business.

1. What is CalSavers?

CalSavers is a state-run workplace retirement savings program that enables small businesses and employees to make an automatic payroll contribution into a personal IRA retirement account overseen by the CalSavers Retirement Savings Investment Board. The program is designed to be self-sustaining, so there will be no taxpayer funding and no employer or state liability for the program.

2. How will CalSavers impact my business?

CalSavers provides a way for small business owners to offer a retirement program for their employees, without incurring the associated burdens of employer-sponsored retirement programs. Employers must use their existing payroll system to send employees’ contributions to the fund each month.

3. What are the requirements for small businesses to participate in CalSavers?

The administrative requirements for employers are minimal, and employees may choose whether they want to participate or opt-out of the program. CalSavers is completely voluntary and employees may participate through their employer or on their own.

4. What businesses qualify for the program?

The program does not apply to businesses that have fewer than five employees and/or already offer a qualified retirement plan for their employees.

However, small businesses owners with fewer than five employees and employees without a retirement option at work may choose to enroll in CalSavers. Once enrolled, they can link their bank to their CalSavers account in order to make and manage deposits into the program.

5. What is the deadline to apply for CalSavers?

The deadline to register for employers with 51-100 employees is June 30, 2021 and for employers with five or more employees, the deadline to register is June 30, 2022. Eligible employers with more than 100 employees who have not yet registered should do so as soon as possible to avoid penalties, and can register at any point in time. 

6. How can I enroll my small business in CalSavers?

To enroll your small business in CalSavers call (855) 650-6916 or visit CalSavers.com.

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