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MyCTSavings is Connecticut’s state-sponsored retirement plan. Established to help private workers save money for post-work life, it also provides employers with a low-maintenance way to offer employees access to a qualified retirement plan.
If you are an employer in Connecticut and are not sure if the MyCTSavings plan applies to you, this guide covers who must offer employees access to a retirement savings program, what to do if you already offer a plan, and how to stay compliant.
Why are state-sponsored programs such as MyCTSavings being adopted?
Some data suggests that over 57 million private sector workers in the US are unable to save for retirement through their employers. This varies by state, and in Connecticut, over 600,000 private sector employees are without access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan.
Let’s find out more about the specifics behind the state’s retirement plan.
What is Connecticut’s state retirement mandate?
- While MyCTSavings officially opened for enrollment on April 1, 2022, the original legislation passed in 2016. Specifically, it is sponsored by the State of Connecticut’s Retirement Security Program in the Office of the State Comptroller
- Connecticut requires eligible employers with five or more employees (and who paid those employees $5,000 or more in taxable wages in the previous calendar year), who do not offer a retirement savings program, to offer one
- Businesses with fewer than five employees or those that already provide a work-based retirement savings option will not be required to participate
- Employers may choose an independent retirement plan administrator or participate in Connecticut’s state-run retirement plan, MyCTSavings program
- There are no fees or fiduciary responsibilities for employers to offer the plan
- The first deadline for employers with 100 or more employees went into effect on June 30, 2022
- An October 31, 2022, deadline followed for employers with 26 to 99 employees
- The next deadline for MyCTSavings for employers with five to 25 employees was March 30, 2023, but was extended to August 31, 2023
How does MyCTSavings work?
In a nutshell, employers must enroll eligible employees in automatic enrollment within their first 30 days on the job. This means that as soon as workers are added, automatic payroll contributions begin unless the employee decides against participating and opts out of the program.
MyCTSavings Program: What workers will want to know
Eligible employees must fit specific criteria to be able to participate in Connecticut’s state-run program.
- Include any employee who is 19 years of age or older
- The employee must have been on the job for at least 120 days
Out of the box, the default savings rate for an employee’s MyCTSavings account is 3% of their gross pay. Gross pay is the dollar amount the worker earns before factoring in taxes or any other deductions. The savings rate can be adjusted by the employee whenever they like.
What type of retirement program is MyCTSavings?
Specifically, it is a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that accumulates principle and interest with consistent after-tax contributions. As the employee works and pays income tax, deposits are made into the Roth IRA. When an employee retires and begins to take money out of the account, all money that has been earned through contributions is tax-free.
When an employee starts saving, the account is theirs. This means that if they change jobs, the funds follow them to the next company, and they continue to have access to their savings.
On the other hand, workers are able to opt out if they choose not to participate, or if they have another way that they want to save for retirement.
After being enrolled, an employee has 30 days to choose to stay in the program or opt out. If they stay enrolled, the payroll deductions that they elect and that you as the employer sets up for them starts as soon as your next payroll. If they choose to opt out, they will be automatically removed from the program and can always rejoin later.
Are there any exceptions that employers are eligible for?
Per the MyCTSavings help center for employers, if you already offer one of the following plans, you could be eligible for an exception.
|Plans that could qualify for a MyCTsavings exemption include
Because MyCTSavings applies only to employers that don’t offer a qualified retirement savings plan, you are able to apply for an exemption. To do this, you’ll need:
- A unique access code (you can get this either by email or regular mail)
- Your employer identification number (EIN)
Next, consider what can happen if an employer fails to provide coverage.
Are there penalties for noncompliance?
As we mentioned earlier, any Connecticut business with five or more employees were required to facilitate the MyCTSavings program as of August 31, 2023, unless they already offered a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan.
In May of 2023, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed legislation regarding penalties should an eligible employer not offer their employees access to a retirement savings plan, whether a private program or MyCTSavings.
Depending on the number of employees, fines can range from $500 to $1,500 per employee if an employer does not offer MyCTSavings, or a private plan of their choosing.
More resources for Connecticut employers about MyCTSavings
Retirement plan access can benefit employers and employees
When employers provide their employees with a way to save for retirement, everyone benefits. On the one hand, it provides employees with an opportunity to save money for retirement that can be used as income for expenses. Employers who offer a savings plan can boost employee morale, increase productivity, and keep their best workers from looking around to see if the grass is greener somewhere else.