MarylandSaves Program: What Employers Need to Know

WHAT IT IS?

MarylandSaves is a new workplace savings program that went into effect last month. Sponsored by the state of Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program, it requires eligible employers to establish a retirement savings plan for their employees. Under the law, employers with an automatic payroll system are required to establish a payroll deposit retirement savings arrangement for employees through a state-run trust. This means that employers that use an automated payroll system must offer a retirement plan or sign their employees up for MarylandSaves.

WHY?

Nearly one million private-sector employees in Maryland have no access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. With MarylandSaves, employers can now offer their employees another way to save for emergencies and their retirement through an automatic Roth IRA that employees can take wherever their career leads.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO ENROLL?

Any private-sector, for-profit, or nonprofit business operating in the state of Maryland that meets the following criteria must participate in the plan:

  • Those that pay employees through a payroll system or service
  • Businesses in operation at least two years
  • Businesses that do not currently offer an employer-sponsored retirement savings arrangement to employees
  • Businesses that have not provided a retirement savings plan in the last two years

It’s important to note that small businesses that meet these criteria may opt to establish their own retirement savings program for employees as an alternative to MarylandSaves.

Employers that enroll do not have to pay a fee for the services, are not permitted or required to make contributions to the plan and have no federal reporting requirements in relation to the program. As an incentive, the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation will waive its $300 annual report filing fee for all eligible employers who enroll in the program by December 1st.
Eligible employers who already have a retirement plan need to register and certify their compliance. In doing so, they will also obtain a waiver for the $300 annual report filing fee.

WHAT ABOUT MY EMPLOYEES UNDER THIS PLAN?

If your business decides to participate in the program, employees will be automatically enrolled in the program, and they can opt out any time. The initial contribution rate to their personal WorkLife Savings Account is 5% of pay, and participants can elect lower or higher rates. Default contributions will automatically escalate 1 percentage point annually to a maximum of 10%.

As MarylandSaves contributions are Roth IRA contributions, employees need to be aware of the Federal law requirements for eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA.

WHAT SHOULD MY BUSINESS DO?

All Maryland employers will receive a notice from the state of Maryland via mail or e-mail with an access code and must either enroll or register for exemption through the MarylandSaves website.

Want to learn more about this program? We encourage you to visit MarylandSaves frequently asked questions page: https://marylandsaves.com/faqs/employer

Don’t Forget: If you do have a retirement plan for your employees, it is important that you stay compliant. If you have not already, you should be doing the following this fall:

  • Reviewing your retirement plans with your Human Resource department/and or Benefit Brokers to ensure you have the best scalable plan for your organization and its employees given inflation rates will impact most retirement vehicles.
  • Notifying and educating employees regarding what limits and increases have occurred since last year.
  • Confirming your payroll system reflects the changes going into effect for 2023.

HOW CAN KATZABOSCH HELP? 

Your KatzAbosch representative can provide general advisory support on this matter and can provide recommendations to our employee benefit partners. Additionally, KatzAbosch’s sister company, BlueStone Services, offers an Outsource HR solution that may be useful for those organizations looking for continued support with staying compliant on retirement and employee matters. BlueStone’s human resources consulting solutions were created to provide long-term outsourced human resources support or HR project-based support for small to midsize organizations. To learn more about their services and to contact a BlueStone Services HR representative, click here.

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