Tag Archive for: CalSavers

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CalSaver’s Plan and Federal Plan Startup Tax Credit

 “A number of my business clients have been required to adopt the Calsaver’s plan for their employees. Now I see the SECURE Act 2.0 of 2022 sweetened the federal tax credit for plan startup costs for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. If a business has adopted the CalSaver’s plan is the plan startup tax credit still available to them?”

ERISA consultants at the Retirement Learning Center (RLC) Resource Desk regularly receive calls from financial advisors on a broad array of technical topics related to IRAs, qualified retirement plans and other types of retirement savings and income plans, including nonqualified plans, stock options, and Social Security and Medicare. We bring Case of the Week to you to highlight the most relevant topics affecting your business. A recent call with a financial advisor from California dealt with a question on CalSaver’s plan.

Highlights of Discussion
The good news is, “yes,” small business owners that adopted the CalSaver’s plan will still qualify for the federal plan startup tax credit if they want to upgrade from the CalSaver’s plan to a simplified employee pension (SEP), savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) or qualified plan (e.g., 401(k) plan) and they otherwise qualify for the tax credit (i.e., had 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in compensation for the preceding year; and had at least one plan participant who was a nonhighly compensated employee).

The federal plan startup credit under IRC Sec. 45E is not available if, during the three-taxable year period immediately preceding the first taxable year for which the credit would otherwise be allowed, the employer or any member of any controlled group including the employer (or any predecessor of either), established or maintained a “qualified employer plan” with respect to which contributions were made, or benefits accrued, for substantially the same employees as are in the new qualified employer plan. A CalSaver’s plan is a payroll deduction Roth IRA—completely employee funded. It is not considered a qualified retirement plan that would preclude a small employer from being eligible to claim the plan startup credit if the employer is otherwise eligible.

Section 102 of the SECURE Act 2.0 of 2022 (see page 819) increases the plan startup credit from 50 percent to 100 percent of eligible plan startup cost up to $5,000 for the first three years for employers with up to 50 employees. Prior rules still apply for those with 51-100 employees. What’s more, there is an additional credit available for defined contribution plans that is a percentage of employer contributions made for five years on behalf of employees, up to a per-employee cap of $1,000. The contribution credit is phased out for employers with between 51 and 100 employees.

Conclusion
A CalSaver’s plan is a payroll deduction Roth IRA—completely employee funded. It is not considered a qualified retirement plan that would preclude a small employer from being eligible to claim the federal plan startup credit if the employer is otherwise eligible and establishes a SEP, SIMPLE or qualified plan.

 

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California and Oregon State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

“I have several clients who are employers based in California and Oregon. Can you provide an update on the registration requirements for the CalSavers and the OregonSaves retirement savings programs? Are there any deadlines approaching?”

ERISA consultants at the Retirement Learning Center (RLC) Resource Desk regularly receive calls from financial advisors on a broad array of technical topics related to IRAs, qualified retirement plans and other types of retirement savings and income plans, including nonqualified plans, stock options, and Social Security and Medicare.  We bring Case of the Week to you to highlight the most relevant topics affecting your business.

A recent call with a financial advisor from California is representative of a common inquiry related to state-sponsored retirement plans for private-sector workers.

As we reported in a prior Case of the Week:  State-sponsored retirement plans for private-sector workers, to date 12 states and one city have enacted laws that, generally, require certain employers without their own retirement plans to make the state-sponsored plan available to their employees. Each state has different rules so it is imperative to confer with state authorities and reference state websites for guidance. Note that some of the states’ plans have an employer registration requirement that is time sensitive. California and Oregon are examples of two such states.

California
CalSavers
 is a retirement savings program for private sector workers in California whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. Employers with five or more employees must participate in CalSavers if they do not already have a workplace retirement plan. Employers that do sponsor their own retirement plan must register their exemption from the state mandate. The following deadlines to register or claim an exemption are based on the size of the business.

Size of Business                 Deadline

Over 100 employees           September 30, 2020 (but see potential for year-end extension)[1]

Over 50 employees             June 30, 2021

5 or more employees          June 30, 2022

To register, visit www.CalSavers.com, call CalSavers Client Services at 855-650-6916 or email them at Clientservices@calsavers.com to certify an exemption. For businesses that missed the deadline and need to get caught up, please engage with the CalSavers support team immediately as they want to help. There is unofficial word that the deadline for registering as a California exempt employer has been extended to December 29, 2020. 

Oregon

Oregon has a similar employer registration requirement for its state-sponsored retirement program covering private sector workers− OregonSaves. Businesses with employees that do not offer a qualified retirement plan and are currently issuing payroll are required to implement the OregonSaves program. Most of the deadlines for registration/exemption have passed[2], but the state has indicated that its expectation at this time, given the impact of Covid-19, is for business owners to facilitate the program “as soon as you are reasonably able to do so.” Oregonian employers that sponsor a qualified retirement plan don’t have to participate in the program but must certify their exemption and renew it every three years.

Businesses can register or certify their exemption online at www.oregonsaves.com. Alternatively, they can contact the OregonSaves Client Service Team by phone at (844) 661-1256 or by email at clientservices@oregonsaves.com for assistance.

For information on state-sponsored retirement savings plans, please refer to the table below.

State/City Plan Name
1.    California California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program
2.    Colorado Colorado Secure Savings Program
3.    Connecticut Connecticut Retirement Security Program
4.    Illinois Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program
5.    Maryland Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program
6.    Massachusetts Massachusetts Defined Contribution CORE Plan

 

7.    New Jersey New Jersey Small Business Retirement Marketplace

 

8.    New Mexico The New Mexico Work and Save Act

 

9.    New York New York State Secure Choice Savings Program
10. Oregon OregonSaves

 

11. Vermont Vermont Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan

 

12. Washington Washington’s Small Business Retirement Marketplace

 

13. Seattle, WA Seattle Retirement Savings Plan

 

 

[1] Employers who missed this deadline should contact CalSavers and register as soon as possible to avoid penalties. There is unofficial word that the deadline for registering as a California exempt employer has been extended to December 29, 2020.

[2] Oregonian businesses with four or fewer employees have until January 15, 2021, to register or record their exemption.

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CalSavers Sign Up Begins

“The CalSavers program has been in the news. What is it?”

ERISA consultants at the Retirement Learning Center (RLC) Resource Desk regularly receive calls from financial advisors on a broad array of technical topics related to IRAs, qualified retirement plans and other types of retirement savings and income plans, including nonqualified plans, stock options, and Social Security and Medicare. We bring Case of the Week to you to highlight the most relevant topics affecting your business. A recent call with a financial advisor from California is representative of a common inquiry related to types of retirement plans.

Highlights of the Discussion

The CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers) is a mandatory retirement savings program run by the state of California for private sector workers of California. California state law requires employers to either offer their own retirement plan[1] or register to facilitate CalSavers. On threat of penalty,[2] the employer is required to register with the state for CalSavers if the business

  • Has at least five California-based employees, at least one of whom is age 18, and
  • Does not sponsor a qualified retirement plan.

July 1, 2019, marked the opening for registration. There are staggered compliance deadlines depending on the size of employer. For eligible employers with

  • More than 100 employees, the deadline to participate is June 30, 2020;
  • More than 50 employees, the deadline to participate is June 30, 2021; and
  • With five or more employees, the deadline to participate is June 30, 2022.

Employer Involvement

An eligible employer is responsible for registering for the program, providing basic employee roster information to the state for eligible employees (i.e., name, date of birth, Social Security Number or ITIN, and contact information), and facilitating by payroll deduction the appropriate contributions each pay cycle.

Employee Involvement

Covered employees are automatically enrolled in CalSavers, and the state will contact employees directly to make them aware of the program and inform them of their ability to opt-out or customize their contributions. The default contribution is five percent of an employee’s gross salary, with an automatic one percent increase each year up to a maximum of eight percent. Currently, the CalSavers Program uses after-tax Roth IRAs, but is working on adding a Traditional IRA choice in late 2019 or early 2020. For 2019, the contribution limit is $6,000 for those under age 50 and $7,000 for those ages 50 and over. Note that this limit applies to all of an individual’s IRAs in aggregate—including a CalSavers account. Standard Roth IRA distribution rules apply. Unless an employee selects another investment option, the first $1,000 in contributions will be invested in the CalSavers Money Market Fund and subsequent contributions will be invested in a target retirement date fund based on the individual’s age. Employees can decide at any time whether to keep their investments in these funds or choose from a menu of other investment options. That’s just the top of the waves. The CalSavers website contains a wealth of information for employers and savers.

Conclusion

Registration is now officially open for the California-run CalSavers Retirement Savings Program—a automatic Roth IRA program for California workers who do not have access to a workplace retirement plan.

[1] Qualified retirement plans include pension plans; 401(k) plans; 403(a) plans; 403(b) plans; Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans; Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) plans; or Payroll deduction IRAs with automatic enrollment.

[2] A penalty of $250 per eligible employee applies if noncompliance extends 90 days or more after notice, and if found to be in noncompliance 180 days or more after notice, an additional penalty of $500 per eligible employee will apply.

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