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Employers: Register Today

The next registration deadline is coming June 30, 2022. It takes just a few minutes to get started. No employer fees, easy to facilitate. Get started today.

Eligibility and Registration


California state law requires California employers to participate in CalSavers if they do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan and have 5 or more employees. *

Employers who already offer a workplace retirement plan, employed an average of fewer than five California employees in the prior calendar year, or are classified as a religious organization, tribal entity, or government agency are exempt from joining CalSavers. If your business is not exempt, it must complete company registration with the CalSavers program to meet your state mandate.

*Company eligibility is based on the average number of employees throughout the year. This number is calculated by averaging the number of employees a company reports to the Employment Development Department on filings from the previous calendar year.

When should this step be completed?

You must complete registration by your state mandated deadline.

 

Information you will need to complete this step:

To start a registration or request an exemption:

  • Your company’s Federal Employer Identification Number or Tax Identification Number (EIN/TIN).
  • Your CalSavers Access Code, which is sent to you by the Program. (Request an Access Code if you do not have one.)

If you are registering:

  • Contact information for the person who will facilitate the CalSavers program for your company. (This person will be is identified as the Account Manager for the account.)
  • Optional: The contact information for anyone else at your company who will assist you with managing your account. (These individuals are referred to “administrators”.)

If you are requesting an exemption:

  • You may need to send a communication and formal documentation supporting your exemption request to the CalSavers Program. Information you may need to provide will be different based on your exemption reason.

What comes next?

After your complete this step, you are required to add your roster of employees within 30 days of registration. CalSavers will then notify your employees about the program, initiating a 30-day opt-out window. You will begin to send employee contributions for those that do not opt out during the period. Employees who do not customize their account or opt out during this period will be automatically enrolled in CalSavers.

Frequently asked questions

Can employers start facilitating CalSavers at any time? When are employers required to take action?

A pay schedule is a term used to describe how frequently your employees are paid (ex. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). When you add an employee’s information to the program, you will indicate their pay schedule. Employees that are paid at the same time should be included in the same pay schedule. You can name this pay schedule with any name you want.

Eligible employers can request to register at any time. The three-year phased rollout started in 2020 and includes staggered deadlines for eligible employers to either begin to offer their own retirement plan or register for CalSavers. The deadlines vary depending on the size of the business:

  • For eligible employers with more than 100 employees, September 30, 2020.
  • For eligible employers with more than 50 employees, June 30, 2021.
  • For eligible employers with five or more employees, June 30, 2022.
  • Newly eligible businesses starting in 2022: In Spring 2022, we (re)assessed employer eligibility based on employee data submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) as of December 2021. For these newly eligible businesses, their registration deadline is December 31, 2022.

Your eligibility and compliance deadlines are based on your average employees throughout the previous calendar year. This number is calculated by averaging the numbers of employees you report to the Employment Development Department on your previous four DE9C filings for the prior year.

As an employer, do I have to facilitate CalSavers? Who is an eligible employer?

State law requires employers to either offer their own retirement plan or register to facilitate CalSavers. If you have at least five California-based employees, at least one of whom is age eighteen, and don’t sponsor a qualified retirement plan, your business is required to register for CalSavers. Qualified retirement plans include:

  • 401(a) – Qualified Plan (including profit-sharing plans and defined benefit plans)
  • 401(k) plans (including multiple employer plans or pooled employer plans)
  • 403(a) - Qualified Annuity Plan or 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan
  • 408(k) - Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans
  • 408(p) - Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRA Plan
  • Payroll deduction IRAs with automatic enrollment

If you already offer a qualified retirement plan above, please inform us of your exemption on the employer portal.
Are there penalties for non-compliance?
Yes. Per Government Code Section 100033(b), each eligible employer that, without good cause, fails to allow its eligible employees to participate in CalSavers, on or before 90 days after service of notice of its failure to comply, shall pay a penalty of $250 per eligible employee if noncompliance extends 90 days or more after the notice, and if found to be in noncompliance 180 days or more after the notice, an additional penalty of $500 per eligible employee.
Do employers who facilitate CalSavers have any liability for the Program?

According to state law, employers shall not have any liability for an employee’s decision to participate in CalSavers, for their investment decisions, or for the performance of those investments.

Under California state statute (Section 100034) employers are not a fiduciary and have no responsibility or liability to Program participants for the choice of investment options or providers for the program. Employers have no civil liability, and no cause of action shall arise against an employer, for acting pursuant to the regulation prescribed by the Board defining the roles and responsibilities of employers that participate in CalSavers.

Employers are responsible for meeting their facilitation requirements as described in California law. Employers have no responsibility for establishing, maintaining or operating CalSavers. Specifically, Employers may not:

  • Determine the terms of the IRAs offer through CalSavers;
  • Select which investment options will be made available;
  • Make employer contributions to CalSavers (including matching contributions);
  • Advise employees regarding whether or not to enroll in CalSavers; or
  • Take any other action related to the administration or operation of CalSavers beyond registering eligible employees and remitting payroll deductions.
Are religious organizations, tribal organizations and government entities required to participate?
No. Religious organizations, tribal organizations and government entities are exempt from the state law establishing CalSavers.
What about non-profit employers?
The requirements are the same for non-profit and for-profit employers. Volunteers who are not considered employees under state law are not eligible and will not be included in counting a non-profit employer’s number of employees.
If we participate in a public youth employment program are the youth eligible to participate even if they are only working a short period of time?
Yes, if they are 18 or older.

Please note that employee contributions to the Program would not begin until the first payroll following the 30 day notification period, so depending on the length of employment, short term employees may not be able to make contributions.If we already have a retirement plan, can we also facilitate CalSavers? If you already offer a qualified retirement plan – good for you! Your business may not facilitate CalSavers with automatic enrollment. Non-mandated employers can choose to facilitate contributions from their employees who already have an account or have enrolled on their own.

Qualified retirement plans include:
  • 403(a) - Qualified Annuity Plan or 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan
  • 408(k) - Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans
  • 408(p) - Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRA Plan
  • 401(a) – Qualified Plan (including profit-sharing plans and defined benefit plans)
  • 401(k) plans (including multiple employer plans or pooled employer plans)
  • Payroll deduction IRAs with automatic enrollment

If you already offer a qualified retirement plan, we request that you inform us of your exemption on the employer portal.

If you have any employees or independent contractors that have set up a CalSavers account on their own and request payroll deductions to be remitted to their CalSavers account, your business may choose to facilitate those contributions just like any other deduction such as a parking payment or charitable contribution.

How does the employer mandate impact a controlled group of businesses as defined under Internal Revenue Code Sections 414(b) and (c)?
If an employer is part of a controlled group of businesses that maintains a qualified retirement plan, that employer and any other members of the controlled group are exempt.

If an employer is part of a controlled group of businesses, none of which maintain a qualified retirement plan, it and the other members of the controlled group would be required to comply individually with the mandate by their respective deadlines.

For multi-party employment relationships like staffing companies, temporary services organizations, professional employer organization (PEO), motion picture payroll services companies, and employers with third party administrators, which party is the eligible employer?

The eligible employer is the entity that is the statutory or common law employer for California employees. Regulations clarify which entity shall be the eligible employer for a few multi-party employment relationships:

For employers that use the services of a temporary services or leasing employer, the eligible employer is the temporary services or leasing employer – not the clients who use the services of a temporary services or leasing employer. The client employer, however, is required to comply if they employ at least five of their own employees and do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan.

For employers that enter into a contract with a PEO, the eligible employer is the client employer using the PEO’s services – not the PEO. A PEO, however, is required to comply if they employ at least five of their own employees and do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan.

For a motion picture production company that uses the services of a motion picture payroll services company, the eligible employer is the motion picture production company – not the motion picture payroll services company. A motion picture payroll services company, however, is required to comply if they employ at least five of their own employees and do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan.

Who manages this program?

Administration of program participant accounts is handled through a contract with Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, LLC. Investments are managed by BNY Mellon Investment Adviser, Inc. [(CalSavers Sustainable Balanced Fund (Environmental, Social, Governance)] and State Street Global Advisors (all other funds).

The CalSavers Program is overseen by the CalSavers Retirement Savings Board, consisting of nine members, with the State Treasurer serving as chair.

In addition to Board oversight, the CalSavers program has a small staff of employees, and contracts with professional consultants to advise the Program

Can employers start facilitating CalSavers at any time? When are employers required to take action?

A pay schedule is a term used to describe how frequently your employees are paid (ex. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). When you add an employee’s information to the program, you will indicate their pay schedule. Employees that are paid at the same time should be included in the same pay schedule. You can name this pay schedule with any name you want.

Eligible employers can request to register at any time. The three-year phased rollout started in 2020 and includes staggered deadlines for eligible employers to either begin to offer their own retirement plan or register for CalSavers. The deadlines vary depending on the size of the business:

  • For eligible employers with more than 100 employees, September 30, 2020.
  • For eligible employers with more than 50 employees, June 30, 2021.
  • For eligible employers with five or more employees, June 30, 2022.
  • Newly eligible businesses starting in 2022: In Spring 2022, we (re)assessed employer eligibility based on employee data submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) as of December 2021. For these newly eligible businesses, their registration deadline is December 31, 2022.

Your eligibility and compliance deadlines are based on your average employees throughout the previous calendar year. This number is calculated by averaging the numbers of employees you report to the Employment Development Department on your previous four DE9C filings for the prior year.