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Employers: Register Today

The registration deadline (June 30, 2022) for employers with 5+ employees has passed. It takes just a few minutes to get started. No employer fees, easy to facilitate. Get started today.

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Top Questions

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.

When are employers required to register?

The initial three-year phased rollout of the CalSavers program has ended. If an employer’s mandated deadline was September 30, 3020, June 30, 2021, or June 30, 2022, and they have not registered with CalSavers, then they are out of compliance and must register immediately or face enforcement action which will include financial penalties.

Newly-mandated businesses: Each spring, we assess employer mandate status using employee data that employers submit to the Employment Development Department (EDD). This number is calculated by averaging the number of employees employers report to EDD on the four DE9C filings for the prior year. If mandated, a registration deadline of December 31 is then applied to the business.

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.

Are all employees eligible for the program? When do employees become eligible?

All employees of a participating employer are eligible as long as they are at least age eighteen and have the status of an employee under California law. There are no minimum requirements based on hours worked or tenure with their employer.

Employees are eligible to participate in CalSavers from of the first day they are hired. Participating Employers are required to upload them to the portal within 30 days of their hire date.

Please note that employee contributions to the Program do 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.

What does it mean that employees are automatically enrolled?

State law establishes CalSavers with what is commonly known as “automatic enrollment”. With automatic enrollment, eligible employees who do not choose to opt out will be enrolled automatically in the program. The feature has become common to retirement plans, with over half using automatic enrollment.

Employees are enrolled with limited employer involvement. When an employer registers for CalSavers, the employer provides basic employee roster information to CalSavers. From beginning to end, this process generally takes about 30 minutes; many employers complete it in under 15 minutes. Employers are encouraged to complete this step when they register, but if they need more time, can do it within 30 days of their registration date.

CalSavers uses this information to contact employees directly to make them aware of the Program and provide them information on how the program works, how to set up their account, and how to opt out if they wish. If an eligible employee takes no action within 30 days, they will be automatically enrolled in the program under the default saving settings. If they wish to make changes to their account setting or opt out of participating in the program, they will be directed to contact CalSavers.

CalSavers has informational flyers, program materials, and sample emails employers may send to their staff to inform them about the program. Use of these materials is optional for employers, however state law requires employers to remain neutral about the program when describing it to their employees.

After registration and enrollment, employers are responsible to deduct and remit each saver’s contributions each pay period. Employers are also responsible to add new eligible employees to the program within 30 days of their date of hire or date of eligibility.

What if my Employee does not want me to disclose information?

Employers facilitating the CalSavers program are required by law to provide information on all eligible employees to the program. The program administrator and record keeper are the only entity with access to employee personal data. They have a very strict privacy policy and use the highest level of security to protect personal data.

What if my employee say they do not want to participate?

Employees who do not want to participate can opt-out at anytime. There are three convenient ways to opt out. The easiest way to opt out is either by calling our automated phone system at (855) 650 – 6918 or through the website. You can also choose to download, complete, and mail-in a paper opt-out form. Employers can provide the phone number and opt-out form to their employees if they wish, although employees must contact the program directly and not through their employer.

Can an employer make contributions on behalf of their employees?

No. Employers are not allowed to make contributions on behalf of, or as a match to, employee contributions in this program. If an employer wishes to make contributions to a retirement plan on behalf of their employees, they should explore offering an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

How often do I need to send the contributions in?

Contributions must be submitted to the program for each paycheck and remitted within seven days of taking the deduction out of the participating employee’s paycheck.

How do I communicate to our employees about CalSavers?

Employers must remain neutral about their employees’ participation in CalSavers. You will be provided an email template at the time of your registration that you may share with your employees to inform them that CalSavers will reach out to them. Your employees will be contacted directly by the Program with all necessary information. If they have any questions, or wish to make any changes to their account, they should contact the Program directly (Client Services) at www.calsavers.com, at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com.

Can my payroll service provider facilitate CalSavers for me?

You may add your payroll service provider as a delegate to help perform the employer facilitation duties on employers’ behalf.

Top Questions

How do I participate in CalSavers?

There are two ways you can join the Program: through an employer, or on your own if you do not have access to a retirement savings plan through your employer.

Joining through an employer (most common)

If you are at least 18 years of age and employed by an eligible employer, you are eligible to participate in CalSavers. There are no minimum requirements based on hours worked or tenure with your employer.

Specifically, if you have the status of an employee under Unemployment Insurance Code Sections 621 et seq., receive an Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 with California wages from a participating employer, or are a sole proprietor or partner in a partnership that is an eligible employer, then you are likely to be eligible to participate in the Program subject to California law and the federal rules governing Roth IRAs.

Enrolling on your own

You can participate if you’re a gig worker, self-employed, independent contractor, or work for a non-participating employer. To enroll on your own (not through an employer), you must have earned income, be at least age eighteen, have a bank account from which you will make contributions, and provide some personal information, including full legal name; Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; date of birth; physical U.S. street address; designated email address; and any other information reasonably required by the Program for purposes of administering the Program. You can make one-time contributions or set up recurring contributions (each must be at least $10).

How do I make changes to my CalSavers account if I want to save more, or less, or choose different investments?

Simply log in to your account or contact Client Services at 855-650-6918. You will be able to change your contribution rate, investment choices, designate a beneficiary, and turn automatic escalation on or off.

How does the enrollment process work?

After your employer registers, eligible employees will be enrolled in the Program automatically, unless they choose to opt out. If you were hired on or before the date your employer registers with the Program, the Program will enroll you within 30 days after your employer registers with the Program, unless you choose to opt out. If you were hired after your employer registers with the Program, you will be enrolled automatically within 30 days of your date of hire or date of eligibility, unless you choose to opt out.

When your employer facilitates their employees’ participation in the CalSavers program, they will provide the names, Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number, and contact information of eligible employees to the CalSavers Program. The Program will then contact the employees directly using the email or mailing address provided by the employer and provide them an employee information packet, which details the program. When you receive the packet you can:

  • Do nothing, and then after 30 days you will be automatically enrolled in the Program under the default elections;
  • Customize your account online or by contacting Client Services to select a different contribution amount and/or investment option; or
  • Decide not to participate and opt-out of the program by going online, by completing and returning the opt-out form in the employee information packet, or by contacting Client Services.

If the Program administrator is unable to process your enrollment for any reason, your employer will be notified immediately with instructions to not remit contributions on your behalf. The Program administrator will subsequently notify you. Such communications shall be held in the strictest confidence and shall not be used for any purpose outside of the Program.

How do I opt out?

You can opt out online or by contacting Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com. You can also opt out by mail using the form found on our website. In order to opt out, you must provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number, date of birth, and ZIP Code.

If you opt out within the 30-day period after the Program administrator notifies you to confirm the establishment of your CalSavers Account and provides you with instructions on how to access the Program Documents (the “30-Day Notification Period”), no payroll deductions will be made on your behalf, and your CalSavers account will not be activated. If you choose to end your participation in the Program after the 30-Day Notification Period and payroll deductions have started, your payroll deductions will generally be terminated before the next pay cycle, no later than 30 days after your request. If contributions have already been made into your CalSavers account, you may: (i) leave your money in your CalSavers account to grow your retirement savings; (ii) transfer or roll over your CalSavers account to another Roth IRA; or (iii) request a distribution at any time, subject to Roth IRA distribution laws. NOTE: any investment earnings withdrawn may be taxable and subject to “early withdrawal” tax penalties. See DISCLOSURE STATEMENT – Income Tax Consequences of Establishing a Roth IRA for more information and contact your tax advisor for assistance.

How much can I contribute?

You can contribute up to the annual contribution limit set by the IRS or up to the amount of earned income you have for the year (whichever is less). For 2021 the limit is $6,000 if you’re under 50 and $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older. Note that this limit applies to all of your IRA accounts in aggregate. If you have IRA accounts in addition to your CalSavers account, you will need to ensure that in combination, you are not contributing more than federal limits allow.

Eligibility to participate in a Roth IRA is limited to certain annual income levels. To determine if you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, please visit the IRS website.

Through our website and mobile app, you can make direct contributions to your account – either through one-time contributions or set up automatic recurring contributions. Those contributions must be at least $10.

I was enrolled through a facilitating employer, what happens to my account if I change employers?

Your CalSavers account belongs to you and is not tied to your employer. You can keep it throughout your career. If you change employers, your money remains in your account and you can contribute to it independent of an employer. If you work for a new employer that facilitates the CalSavers Program, you will receive enrollment notification and payroll deductions into your CalSavers account will begin at your new employer unless you choose to opt out.

Can my employer make matching contributions to my account?

No. Employers are not allowed to make contributions into an employee’s account

Do I have to pay any fees for my account?

The only charge for CalSavers is in the form of a fee of 0.825% to 0.95% of your account balance, depending on your investment choice. This means you will pay between $0.83 and $0.95 per year for every $100 in your account. You will not get a bill. This cost is automatically taken out of your CalSavers balance on a regular basis to help pay for the administration of the program. The fee for the standard investment option after your initial 30 days, the Target Retirement Fund, is 0.89%, or $0.89 per year for every $100 in your account.

What are the default elections?

If you enrolled in the Program through a participating employer and don’t specify your settings, your contributions will start at 5% of your gross pay and will automatically increase 1% on or about January 1 of each year for three years up to a maximum of 8%. Your initial contributions will be allocated to the CalSavers Money Market Fund for 30 days and after the 30-day period has elapsed, all contributions and earnings in the CalSavers Money Market Fund at that time, and all subsequent contributions, will be automatically transferred to a CalSavers Target Retirement Fund determined by your age. The 30-day period begins on the date of your first contribution into the CalSavers Money Market Fund.

Investment Options for Default Elections Based on Age and Year of Retirement
Date of Birth Target Retirement Years Investment Option
12/31/1952 or Earlier 2017 or earlier CalSavers Target Retirement Fund
1/1/1953 ‒ 12/31/1957 2018 - 2022 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020
1/1/1958 ‒ 12/31/1962 2023 - 2027 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2025
1/1/1963 ‒ 12/31/1967 2028 - 2032 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2030
1/1/1968 ‒ 12/31/1972 2033 - 2037 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2035
1/1/1973 ‒ 12/31/1977 2038 - 2042 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2040
1/1/1978 ‒ 12/31/1982 2043 - 2047 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2045
1/1/1983 ‒ 12/31/1987 2048 - 2052 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2050
1/1/1988 ‒ 12/31/1992 2053 - 2057 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2055
1/1/1993 ‒ 12/31/1997 2058 - 2062 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2060
1/1/1998 ‒ 12/31/2002 2063 - 2067 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2065
1/1/2003 ‒ 12/31/2007 2068 - 2072 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2070
1/1/2008 or Later 2073 or later CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020
If I have a CalSavers IRA, can I have another IRA or retirement plan at the same time?

Yes, but please note annual contribution limits apply across the accounts. The CalSavers Program will not have information on any other IRAs you may contribute to or whether you also participate in an employer retirement plan. It is your responsibility to ensure that across all of your IRAs, you are contributing within the IRS’ annual limits, which can be found here. Please consult a tax expert or financial advisor to discuss your specific circumstances.

All FAQ's

Employers

Savers

Employer Registration

1. When are employers required to register?

The initial three-year phased rollout of the CalSavers program has ended. If an employer’s mandated deadline was September 30, 3020, June 30, 2021, or June 30, 2022, and they have not registered with CalSavers, then they are out of compliance and must register immediately or face enforcement action which will include financial penalties.

Newly-mandated businesses: Each spring, we assess employer mandate status using employee data that employers submit to the Employment Development Department (EDD). This number is calculated by averaging the number of employees employers report to EDD on the four DE9C filings for the prior year. If mandated, a registration deadline of December 31 is then applied to the business.

2. 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.

Eligibility

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Are all employees eligible for the program? When do employees become eligible?

All employees of a participating employer are eligible as long as they are at least age eighteen and have the status of an employee under California law. There are no minimum requirements based on hours worked or tenure with their employer.

Employees are eligible to participate in CalSavers from of the first day they are hired. Participating Employers are required to upload them to the portal within 30 days of their hire date.

Please note that employee contributions to the Program do 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Are business owners eligible to participate?

Business owners that are also employees of their business are eligible to participate. Business owners that are not employees may enroll as an individual and make automatic contributions from their bank account.

8. 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.

9. 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.

Enrolling Employees

1. As an employer, what am I responsible for?

The employer is responsible for registering for the Program, providing basic employee roster information to the Program for eligible employees (name, date of birth, Social Security Number or ITIN, and contact information), and facilitating by payroll deduction the appropriate contributions each pay cycle. That’s it. Note that all information provided is received and maintained in a secure environment.

2. What does it mean that employees are automatically enrolled?

State law establishes CalSavers with what is commonly known as “automatic enrollment”. With automatic enrollment, eligible employees who do not choose to opt out will be enrolled automatically in the program. The feature has become common to retirement plans, with over half using automatic enrollment.

Employees are enrolled with limited employer involvement. When an employer registers for CalSavers, the employer provides basic employee roster information to CalSavers. From beginning to end, this process generally takes about 30 minutes; many employers complete it in under 15 minutes. Employers are encouraged to complete this step when they register, but if they need more time, can do it within 30 days of their registration date.

CalSavers uses this information to contact employees directly to make them aware of the Program and provide them information on how the program works, how to set up their account, and how to opt out if they wish. If an eligible employee takes no action within 30 days, they will be automatically enrolled in the program under the default saving settings. If they wish to make changes to their account setting or opt out of participating in the program, they will be directed to contact CalSavers.

CalSavers has informational flyers, program materials, and sample emails employers may send to their staff to inform them about the program. Use of these materials is optional for employers, however state law requires employers to remain neutral about the program when describing it to their employees. After registration and enrollment, employers are responsible to deduct and remit each saver’s contributions each pay period. Employers are also responsible to add new eligible employees to the program within 30 days of their date of hire or date of eligibility.

After registration and enrollment, employers are responsible to deduct and remit each saver’s contributions each pay period. Employers are also responsible to add new eligible employees to the program within 30 days of their date of hire or date of eligibility.

3. What if my employee does not want me to disclose information?

Employers facilitating the CalSavers program are required by law to provide information on all eligible employees to the program. The program administrator and recordkeeper is the only entity with access to employee personal data. They have a very strict privacy policy and use the highest level of security to protect personal data.

4. What if my employee say they do not want to participate?

Employees who do not want to participate can opt-out. The easiest way to opt out is either by calling our automated phone system at (855) 650 – 6918 or through our website. Employees can also choose to download, complete, and mail-in a paper opt-out form. Employers can provide the phone number and opt-out form to their employees if they wish, although employees must contact the program directly and not through their employer.

Sending Contributions

1. Can an employer make contributions on behalf of their employees?

No. Employers are not allowed to make contributions on behalf of, or as a match to, employee contributions in this program. If an employer wishes to make contributions to a retirement plan on behalf of their employees, they should explore offering an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

2. Who will be responsible for monitoring contribution limits?

It is the responsibility of program participants to monitor their own annual contribution limits across all Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) they maintain, including their CalSavers account. CalSavers intends to notify employees when their CalSavers account is close to reaching the federal annual contribution limits for an IRA and will instruct employers to stop contributions when employees’ contributions reach the limit. Note that limits apply across all IRAs maintained by an individual and CalSavers will not know of other IRAs that program participants maintain elsewhere.

It is also the responsibility of the program participant to determine if they are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, and to comply with any other IRA rules. However, CalSavers will provide program participants with educational materials to help participants understand the rules.

For 2022, the annual contribution limits are $6,000 for individuals under the age of 50. Individuals over the age of 50 will be able to contribute another $1,000 in “catch-up” contributions for a total of $7,000.

3. What if an employee is already contributing through another employer they currently work for?

Employees are invited to enroll in the CalSavers program for each employer that they work for. They may choose to opt out of contributions through an employer or contribute through multiple employers at the same time. Program participants must monitor their contribution levels across all of their IRAs to ensure they do not violate IRS limits.

4. Is there a waiting period?

No. Eligible employees who do not choose to opt out of the program are automatically enrolled 30 days after their date of hire or date of eligibility. Contributions may be made on behalf of an employee at any point after they are enrolled.

5. Is there a vesting period?

No, contributions belong 100% to the contributing program participant from day one.

6. How do I know who to deduct contributions for?

Employers are prompted to select a notification preference, which will provide email notifications between 1-5 days prior to the next pay date. Also, at any point in time, employers can access up-to-date information on their employer portal, illustrating any employee decision changes.

7. How often do I need to send the contributions in?

Contributions must be submitted to the program for each paycheck and remitted within seven days of taking the deduction out of the participating employee’s paycheck.

Fees & Costs

1. As an employer, how much is this going to cost me?

There is no employer fee for participating in the program.

General

1. Who do I contact with CalSavers questions, concerns, or otherwise?

Employer questions should be directed to Client Services at 855-650-6916 or clientservices@calsavers.com.

2. Where can I find more detailed disclosure information about CalSavers?

Complete information about CalSavers can be found in the Program Disclosure Booklet.

3. Why is the state establishing CalSavers?

State law mandates that all California employers with five or more employees either offer a retirement savings vehicle or facilitate their employees’ access to CalSavers.

4. Do other states offer programs like CalSavers?

Many states are pursuing implementing state-sponsored IRA savings programs with California, Oregon and Illinois now actively accepting contributions.

5. How is CalSavers different from any other IRA that my employees can open?

CalSavers IRAs are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other IRA, but the CalSavers program is unique: the program will ensure nearly all working Californians have the ability to save through the convenience of regular payroll contributions; CalSavers will offer a small set of simple investment options, making it easy for savers to choose how they invest in their future; and savers that don’t choose their own account settings will participate according to default settings developed to encourage long-term meaningful savings. As the program grows, economies of scale from statewide participation in the Program will result in increasingly lower administrative fees. However, there are other alternatives for employees to save outside of CalSavers. For example, individuals may establish an IRA with one of the numerous mutual fund, investment, insurance, banking or other companies that offer IRAs.

6. Can my payroll service provider facilitate CalSavers for me?

You may add your payroll service provider as a delegate to help perform the employer facilitation duties on employers’ behalf.

7. Why should I facilitate CalSavers instead of setting up my own plan or joining a Multiple Employer Plan (MEP)?

CalSavers offers a simple, streamlined, no-fee way for employers to comply with the requirement established by Government Code Section 100032. However, there are benefits to setting up an employer sponsored retirement plan or joining an MEP which may include higher individual contribution limits and the opportunity to offer an employer matching contribution.

8. How is CalSavers different from an employer sponsored plan like a 401(k)?

Unlike an employer-sponsored plan, CalSavers is established, operated and maintained by the state. Employers have no discretion to determine the terms of the IRAs, the investments offered or program operations. Employers’ responsibilities are limited to registering for the Program, providing roster information for employees, and remitting employee contributions through payroll deductions. CalSavers has been designed to make it easier for employees to save by lowering the barriers that often keep people from saving. Enrollment is automatic, and contributions are made through payroll deductions. Accounts are also portable and can move with employees from one job to the next. Research sponsored by the AARP shows that people are 20 times more likely to save if they have an automatic enrollment retirement option at work, but many small employers don’t have the time or resources to offer their own plan. This program allows employers to facilitate something meaningful for their employees without any employer fees or fiduciary responsibility.

9. 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.

10. How do I communicate to our employees about CalSavers?

Employers must remain neutral about their employees’ participation in CalSavers. You will be provided an email template at the time of your registration that you may share with your employees to inform them that CalSavers will reach out to them. Your employees will be contacted directly by the Program with all necessary information. If they have any questions, or wish to make any changes to their account, they should contact the Program directly (Client Services) at www.calsavers.com, at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com.

11. What should I do if an employee asks me for information or advice?

Do not provide advice. Simply direct them to the CalSavers website at www.calsavers.com or have them contact Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com for any information.

12. 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.

13. Will CalSavers materials be available in multiple languages?

The Program website is currently available in English, Spanish, simple Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino with plans to expand to more languages. All program documentation will be available in English and Spanish. Certain materials will be available in other languages as well. In addition, customer service phone support is available in nearly all languages by calling Client Services at 855-650-6916.

Eligibility

1. How do I participate in CalSavers?

There are two ways you can join the Program: through an employer, or on your own if you do not have access to a retirement savings plan through your employer.

Joining through an employer (most common)

If you are at least 18 years of age and employed by an eligible employer, you are eligible to participate in CalSavers. There are no minimum requirements based on hours worked or tenure with your employer.

Specifically, if you have the status of an employee under Unemployment Insurance Code Sections 621 et seq., receive an Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 with California wages from a participating employer, or are a sole proprietor or partner in a partnership that is an eligible employer, then you are likely to be eligible to participate in the Program subject to California law and the federal rules governing Roth IRAs.

Enrolling on your own

You can participate if you’re a gig worker, self-employed, independent contractor, or work for a non-participating employer. To enroll on your own (not through an employer), you must have earned income, be at least age eighteen, have a bank account from which you will make contributions, and provide some personal information, including full legal name; Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; date of birth; physical U.S. street address; designated email address; and any other information reasonably required by the Program for purposes of administering the Program. You can make one-time contributions or set up recurring contributions (each must be at least $10).

2. Do I need to have a bank account to participate?

No, not if your employer is deducting the money directly out of your paycheck. If you choose to self-enroll in CalSavers separate from an employer arrangement, then you would need to link your bank account to your CalSavers account through the Saver website.

3. Do I need to have a Social Security Number to participate?

You must either have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Account Information

1. How do I make changes to my CalSavers account if I want to save more, or less, or choose different investments?

Simply log in to your account or contact Client Services at 855-650-6918. You will be able to change your contribution rate, investment choices, designate a beneficiary, and turn automatic escalation on or off.

2. What happens to my CalSavers account if I die?

When you enroll you are asked to designate a beneficiary (person/s who should get your money if you die). If you don’t designate a beneficiary, then the money will be passed along to your spouse. If you are not married at the time of your death, the money will go to your estate if you haven't designated a beneficiary. It is important to add a beneficiary to your account so you can make sure that the person you designate receives your money.

Enrollment and Opt-Out Processes Through an Employer

1. How does the enrollment process work?

After your employer registers, eligible employees will be enrolled in the Program automatically, unless they choose to opt out. If you were hired on or before the date your employer registers with the Program, the Program will enroll you within 30 days after you receive your welcome information with the Program, unless you choose to opt out. If you were hired after your employer registers with the Program, your employer is required to add your information within 30 days.

After your registers, they will provide the names, Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number, and contact information of eligible employees to the CalSavers Program. CalSavers will then contact the employees directly using the email or mailing address provided by the employer and provide them an employee information packet, which details the program. When you receive the packet you can:

  • Do nothing, and then after 30 days you will be automatically enrolled in the Program under the default elections;
  • Customize your account online or by contacting Client Services to select a different contribution amount and/or investment option; or
  • Decide not to participate and opt-out of the program by going online, by calling our automated phone system at (855) 650-6918 visting calsavers.com/myaccount, or complete and mail-in the paperopt-out form. If you opt out now, you can opt back into the program in the future.

If the Program administrator is unable to process your enrollment for any reason, your employer will be notified immediately with instructions to not remit contributions on your behalf. The Program administrator will subsequently notify you. Such communications shall be held in the strictest confidence and shall not be used for any purpose outside of the Program.

2. What is my employer’s role?

Your employer plays a limited role in facilitating the Program.

Your employer is responsible for the following:

  • providing the following information about you to the Program administrator for the establishment of a CalSavers account in your name: full legal name; Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; date of birth; physical U.S. street address; designated email address, if applicable; and any other information reasonably required by the Program for purposes of administering the Program.
  • setting up payroll deductions for you and remitting the contributed amounts promptly to the Program administrator; and

Your employer will not:

  • require, endorse, encourage, prohibit, restrict, or discourage employee participation in the Program.
  • contribute to your account or match your contributions to the Program;
  • have any discretionary authority, control, or responsibility for the Program;
  • receive any direct or indirect compensation in relation to the Program;
  • provide tax, legal, investment, or other financial advice or direction about the Program; or
  • manage your personal information with the Program, including your beneficiary designations.

3. Do I have to participate?

No, the CalSavers Program is completely voluntary for employees. If you do not wish to participate, you can opt out at any time.

4. How do I opt out?

You can opt out online or by contacting Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com. You can also opt out by mail using the form found on our website. In order to opt out, you must provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number, date of birth, and ZIP Code.

If you opt out within the 30-day period after the Program administrator notifies you to confirm the establishment of your CalSavers Account and provides you with instructions on how to access the Program Documents (the “30-Day Notification Period”), no payroll deductions will be made on your behalf, and your CalSavers account will not be activated. If you choose to end your participation in the Program after the 30-Day Notification Period and payroll deductions have started, your payroll deductions will generally be terminated before the next pay cycle, no later than 30 days after your request. If contributions have already been made into your CalSavers account, you may: (i) leave your money in your CalSavers account to grow your retirement savings; (ii) transfer or roll over your CalSavers account to another Roth IRA; or (iii) request a distribution at any time, subject to Roth IRA distribution laws. NOTE: any investment earnings withdrawn may be taxable and subject to “early withdrawal” tax penalties. See DISCLOSURE STATEMENT – Income Tax Consequences of Establishing a Roth IRA for more information and contact your tax advisor for assistance.

5. What happens after I opt-out?

After you opt out, you will receive a notification confirming your decision. At any time in the future, you can opt in to the Program.

6. If I opt out, how and when can I get back in?

You can opt back in at any time online, by phone, or by mailing in a form.

7. What if I do nothing?

If you enrolled in the Program through a participating employer and do nothing after you receive the employee information packet by email or mail, a payroll-deduction of 5% of your gross pay will be contributed to your account each pay cycle beginning with the first payroll cycle after 30 days from when the employee information packet detailing the program is sent to you. Your payroll deductions will automatically increase 1% on or about January 1 of each year for three years up to a maximum of 8%. Your initial contributions will be allocated to the CalSavers Money Market Fund for 30 days and after the 30-day period has elapsed, all contributions and earnings in the CalSavers Money Market Fund at that time, and all subsequent contributions, will be automatically transferred to the CalSavers Target Retirement Fund as determined in the table below based on your age as reported in the Program records and assumed retirement at age 65. The 30-day period begins on the date of your first contribution into the CalSavers Money Market Fund.

Investment Options for Default Elections Based on Age and Year of Retirement
Date of Birth Target Retirement Years Investment Option
12/31/1952 or Earlier 2017 or earlier CalSavers Target Retirement Fund
1/1/1953 ‒ 12/31/1957 2018 - 2022 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020
1/1/1958 ‒ 12/31/1962 2023 - 2027 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2025
1/1/1963 ‒ 12/31/1967 2028 - 2032 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2030
1/1/1968 ‒ 12/31/1972 2033 - 2037 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2035
1/1/1973 ‒ 12/31/1977 2038 - 2042 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2040
1/1/1978 ‒ 12/31/1982 2043 - 2047 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2045
1/1/1983 ‒ 12/31/1987 2048 - 2052 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2050
1/1/1988 ‒ 12/31/1992 2053 - 2057 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2055
1/1/1993 ‒ 12/31/1997 2058 - 2062 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2060
1/1/1998 ‒ 12/31/2002 2063 - 2067 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2065
1/1/2003 ‒ 12/31/2007 2068 - 2072 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2070
1/1/2008 or Later 2073 or later CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020

Contributions

1. How do I contribute?

You may contribute to your CalSavers account either through your employer that facilitates the Program or through one of the following methods: check, payroll direct deposit and/or bank account (as a one-time or recurring contribution). When you connect your bank account, you will need to provide your bank routing number, account number, and bank name.

We will not accept contributions made by cash, money order, travelers checks, checks drawn on banks located outside the U.S., checks not in U.S. dollars, checks dated over 180 days, checks post-dated more than seven (7) days in advance, checks with unclear instructions, starter or counter checks, credit card or bank courtesy checks, third-party personal checks over $10,000, instant loan checks, or any other checks we deem unacceptable. No stocks, securities or other non-cash assets will be accepted as contributions.

2. Is the contribution rate based on gross or net income?

Contribution rates are based on your gross income.

3. Can I contribute a flat dollar amount instead of a percentage of pay?

If you are enrolled through your employer you may only contribute as a percentage of your paycheck. The ability to contribute a flat dollar amount may be added in the future.

If you self-enroll into CalSavers independent of an employer and make contributions from your bank account, you may only contribute in flat dollar amounts.

4. Can I have my contribution automatically increase each year?

Yes, with the default elections in the Program, your contributions will start at 5% of your gross salary and increase 1% on or about January 1 of each year up to a maximum of 8%. You may opt-out of the automatic increase feature or customize it as you wish.

5. If I have automatic increases, when does the savings rate increase?

Automatic increases take effect on or about January 1 of each year. The first automatic increase on your account will not take place until you’ve been in the Program for at least six months and are contributing less than 8% of your salary.

6. Can I make pre-tax contributions?

Currently, the CalSavers Program uses after-tax Roth IRAs.

CalSavers offers an option to savers who would like to recharacterize their contributions to a Traditional IRA. You can complete this action using this form, or contact Client Services to get the process started.

If you are contributing to a Traditional IRA, your contributions may be deductible on your tax return. Please consult with a tax advisor for more information.

7. How will I know if I’m getting close to the contribution limits?

The Program will monitor your contribution amounts and notify you and your employer when you are approaching the standard annual IRS contribution limit. For 2022, the limit is $6,000 if you’re under 50 and $7,000 if you’re 50 or older. Note that this limit applies to all of your IRA accounts in aggregate. If you have IRA accounts in addition to your CalSavers account, you will need to ensure that in combination, you are not contributing more than federal limits allow.

Eligibility to participate in a Roth IRA is limited to certain annual income levels. To determine if you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, please visit the IRS website.

8. How are contributions made through an employer that facilitates the Program?

On each payroll date following your enrollment into the Program, your employer will deduct and transfer an amount based on your current contribution elections from your compensation, to your CalSavers account.

Deducted amounts will not exceed the portion of your compensation that remains after other lawfully required payroll deductions with higher precedent than Program contributions are withheld by your employer. Program contribution amounts withheld by your employer will be transmitted to the Program administrator within seven (7) business days after the end of the payroll period during which the amounts were withheld.

The Program will credit any funds contributed to your CalSavers account on the same business day they are received by the Program administrator from your employer, if the contribution is received in good order and prior to the close of business. If received after the close of business, contributions will be credited on the next succeeding business day.

9. How do I contribute through an employer who does not facilitate the Program?

You may be eligible to make automatic, periodic contributions to your CalSavers account by payroll direct deposit (if your employer offers such a service). The minimum payroll direct deposit contribution amount is $10 per paycheck on at least a quarterly basis. Contributions by payroll will only be permitted from employers able to meet our operational and administrative requirements. You may sign up for payroll direct deposit by providing your payroll direct deposit instructions to the Program online. After you submit your payroll direct deposit instructions to the Program, you will receive a Payroll Deduction Confirmation Form, which you must sign and submit to your employer’s payroll department. Automatic or periodic investing does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

10. How do I contribute through my bank account?

You may contribute to you CalSavers account from a checking or savings account at your bank if your bank is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH), subject to certain processing restrictions. Contributions from your bank account may be made as a one-time contribution or recurring contribution (see below for details). By establishing contributions through your bank account, you authorize the Program administrator to initiate credit/debit entries (and to initiate, if necessary, debit/credit entries and adjustments for credit/debit entries made in error) to your bank account. You must provide certain information about the bank account from which money will be withdrawn. Contributions from a money market mutual fund or cash management account are not permitted. If a contribution fails to go through because the bank account on which it is drawn lacks sufficient funds or banking instructions are incorrect or incomplete, we reserve the right to suspend processing of future contributions by ACH.

Recurring Contributions from Your Bank Account.

You may contribute to your CalSavers account through periodic automatic debits from your bank account on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly or quarterly basis. The minimum recurring contribution amount is $10 per quarter. You may establish or make changes to a recurring contribution for an existing CalSavers account at any time online. Recurring contribution debits from your bank account will occur on the day you indicate, provided the day is a regular business day. If the day you indicate falls on a weekend or a holiday, the recurring contribution debit will occur on the next business day. Your recurring contribution authorization will remain in effect until we have received notification of its termination from you and we have had a reasonable amount of time to act on it. A change to, or termination of, a recurring contribution must be received by us at least five (5) business days before the next recurring contribution debit is scheduled to be deducted from your bank account. Automatic or periodic investing does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

One-Time Contributions from Your Bank Account.

You may contribute to your CalSavers account through one-time debits from your bank account for a minimum of $10 per contribution. We may place a limit on the total dollar amount per day you may contribute as a one-time contribution from your bank account. Contributions in excess of this limit will be rejected. If you plan to contribute a large dollar amount to your CalSavers account as a one-time contribution, you may want to contact the Program to inquire about the current limit prior to making your contribution.

11. How do I contribute by check?

After you have opened your CalSavers account, you may make contributions by check. Note: Initial contributions to open a CalSavers account cannot be made by check. Checks must be made payable to: CalSavers and mailed to CalSavers, P.O. Box 55759, Boston, MA 02205 and should specify the name of the account owner.

12. How will the funds be credited to my CalSavers account?

If contributing through any of the direct methods, the Program will credit any funds contributed to your CalSavers account on the same business day if the contribution is received in good order and prior to the close of the NYSE, normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. In this instance, your contribution will receive a contribution date of the same business day that your contribution is received. If received after the NYSE’s close, contributions will be credited on the next business day that the NYSE is open. In this instance, your contribution will receive a contribution date of the next business day that your contribution is received.

For one-time contributions and recurring contributions from your bank account, your contribution date will be the date you select for the contribution to be debited from your bank account, except if you select the next business day as the debit date. In that case, if your request is received in good order by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, it will be given a contribution date of the next business day after the date you request is received. If your request is received in good order after 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, it will be given a contribution date of the second business day after the date your request is received. Please note that this only applies to one-time contributions and the first occurrence of a recurring contribution if you select the next business day as a debit date.

Contributions sent by U.S. mail will be generally treated as having been made in a given year if checks are received by December 31 of the applicable year, and are subsequently paid. ACH contributions will generally be treated as received in the year you initiate them, provided the funds are successfully deducted from your checking or savings account. Please consult with your tax advisor on how to treat contributions for tax purposes.

The Program may experience processing delays resulting from a Force Majeure (as defined in the Program Disclosure Booklet) event, which may affect your contribution date. In those instances, your actual contribution date may be after the contribution date you would have received, which may negatively affect the value of your Account.

Distributions and Withdrawals

1. Can I borrow money from my CalSavers account?

No, you cannot borrow funds from IRA accounts, including your CalSavers IRA. If you would like access to your funds, you would simply request a distribution.

2. How can I take my money out when I retire?

You can choose to take it out in one lump sum or periodic withdrawals.

You also may withdraw money before you retire.

3. Do I have to pay taxes on my money when I take it out when I retire (over 59 ½ years old)?

You may wish to consult a tax advisor for more information, but the following generally apply:

You do not have to pay taxes on your contributions to a Roth IRA at any age, because you paid taxes on the money before you made the contribution. Before age 59 ½ you may have to pay taxes on the earnings on your contributions, but this varies depending on how long your account has been open, and the purpose for which you are withdrawing the funds.

If you contributed to a Traditional IRA, that money may be tax deductible. When you withdraw money from that account, it will be taxed at your tax rate at the time of withdrawal.

4. How do I take money out and how long will it take to get my money?

Distributions from your CalSavers account may be requested online or by phone. Alternatively, you can mail us a completed distribution form. Once a completed request and any additional documentation required are received, the distribution will be processed.

Distribution requests received in good order before the close of business on any business day are processed that day based on the unit values of the investment options in your CalSavers account for that day. Requests received after the close of business are processed the next Business Day using the unit values on that day. Distributions may be payable by check or ACH.

Please allow up to ten (10) business days for the proceeds to reach you. Distributions will generally be processed within three (3) business days of accepting the request. During periods of market volatility and at year-end, distribution requests may take up to five (5) business days to be processed. For security purposes, there will be a hold of nine (9) business days on distribution requests when there is a change to your address and a hold of fifteen (15) calendar days on distribution requests following a change to your banking information. Distributions of contribution amounts submitted by your employer will not be available for withdrawal for seven (7) business days. These preceding time periods are subject to change upon reasonable notice.

5. Is there a fee or penalty or restrictions for taking money out?

The Program assesses no fees or penalties to withdraw money from your account.

The IRS may charge taxes and/or penalties on distributions from your account before you reach the age of 59 ½, although there are several exceptions that may apply (such as if you are disabled). You should consult the IRS or your tax advisor before making any withdrawals in this circumstance. You may review IRS guidelines at the IRS website.

You also may establish your own IRA outside of CalSavers and transfer your account to that IRA. Contact Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com for more information on how to transfer your account.

Investments

1. How do I find out more about my investment options?

Visit the Investment page on www.calsavers.com or contact Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com

Employment Related

1. I was enrolled through a facilitating employer, what happens to my account if I change employers?

Your CalSavers account belongs to you and is not tied to your employer. You can keep it throughout your career. If you change employers, your money remains in your account and you can contribute to it independent of an employer. If you work for a new employer that facilitates the CalSavers Program, you will receive enrollment notification and payroll deductions into your CalSavers account will begin at your new employer unless you choose to opt out.

2. What if my new employer doesn’t offer a private retirement plan or CalSavers?

State law mandates that all California employers with 5 or more employees facilitate employee contributions into the CalSavers Program if they don’t offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you believe your employer is in violation of this mandate, please contact us and we will research your inquiry.

3. What happens to my account if I move out of state?

Your CalSavers account belongs to you and stays with you even if you move out of state. You have a few options. You may continue to make deposits directly from your bank account if you would like, or you may simply leave your investments in your account and discontinue new contributions, or you may move your funds to another IRA. You will not be able to make payroll contributions through your employer if you are working outside of California unless your employer offers payroll direct deposit.

4. Can I participate if I’m a gig worker, self-employed or independent contractor?

Yes, you can sign up for an account directly on your own and make contributions through your bank account.

5. I hold multiple jobs with eligible employers, can I participate with each one?

Yes, as long as each employer is a CalSavers participating employer. Unless you opt-out or make a different election, each employer will automatically deduct contributions from your pay and send them to your CalSavers account.

Even if you have multiple employers, all your contributions will be held in a single account in your name.

6. My employer doesn’t provide access to CalSavers. How can I participate?

You can sign up for an account on your own and make automatic payments from your bank account. After establishing your own account, you may ask your employer if they would be willing to make a payroll deduction for you, but the employer is not required to do this.

Before deciding to contribute to CalSavers, you should determine if your employer offers a retirement plan and consider whether you’d be better off contributing to your employer’s plan rather than CalSavers.

7. When can my employer register for the Program?

Each spring, we assess employer eligibility based on employee data employers submit to the Employment Development Department (EDD) for the prior year. After reviewing these records, if an employer does not sponsor a workplace plan and has 5 or more California employees, the employer will be required to register by December 31 of the current year. Employers will be notified of their registration deadline.

8. How will I know if my employer is sending my payroll contribution to my CalSavers account?

You can monitor your account online at any time. If you don’t see your contribution, call Client Services at 855-650-6918.

9. Can my employer make matching contributions to my account?

No. Employers are not allowed to make contributions into an employee’s account

10. What if my employer submits an invalid Social Security number or ITIN?

If an employee’s Social Security Number or ITIN appears to be invalid or cannot otherwise be confirmed then the employee will not be enrolled or have an account established. CalSavers will advise the employee’s employer to not make payroll deductions, but we will not give a reason. CalSavers will not share any information with anyone, including your employer or government agencies, about whether an SSN or ITIN is invalid or cannot be confirmed.

11. I work for a non-profit: am I eligible to participate?

Non-profit employees are eligible to participate if they are at least age eighteen and meet the state definition of an employee. Specifically, if you have the status of an employee under Unemployment Insurance Code Sections 621 et seq, receive an Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 with California wages from a participating employer, or are a sole proprietor or partner in a partnership that is an eligible employer, then you are likely to be eligible to participate in the Program subject to California law and the federal rules governing Roth IRAs.

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.

12. I work for a religious organization: am I eligible to participate?

Religious organization employees are eligible to participate as individuals if they are at least age eighteen and have earned income. Religious organizations are exempt from the state law establishing CalSavers.

Fees and Costs

1. Do I have to pay any fees for my account?

The only charge for CalSavers is in the form of a fee of 0.825% to 0.95% of your account balance, depending on your investment choice. This means you will pay between $0.83 and $0.95 per year for every $100 in your account. You will not get a bill. This cost is automatically taken out of your CalSavers balance on a regular basis to help pay for the administration of the program. The fee for the standard investment option after your initial 30 days, the Target Retirement Fund, is 0.89%, or $0.89 per year for every $100 in your account.

2. How often are the fees taken out?

Invested amounts are subject to annualized asset-based fees that are deducted at the investment option level evenly over the course of the year. The asset-based fees accrue daily and are factored into the price of an investment option. The fees cover the cost of the underlying investments and program administration.

Risk of Investment Funds

1. Is my money and rate of return guaranteed?

No. All investments have some form of risk. However, the program offers a range of investment types to help you build an investment option that balances different levels of risk for your individual circumstance.

General

1. Do you need my signature?

Most transactions can be completed through the CalSavers website or by contacting Client Services at 855-650-6918 or clientservices@calsavers.com. Certain transactions, like making someone other than your spouse (if married) the primary beneficiary to your account would require a signature. You will be given additional instructions when your signature is required to complete a transaction.

2. What are the default elections?

If you enrolled in the Program through a participating employer and don’t specify your settings, your contributions will start at 5% of your gross pay and will automatically increase 1% on or about January 1 of each year for three years up to a maximum of 8%. Your initial contributions will be allocated to the CalSavers Money Market Fund for 30 days and after the 30-day period has elapsed, all contributions and earnings in the CalSavers Money Market Fund at that time, and all subsequent contributions, will be automatically transferred to a CalSavers Target Retirement Fund determined by your age. The 30-day period begins on the date of your first contribution into the CalSavers Money Market Fund.

Investment Options for Default Elections Based on Age and Year of Retirement
Date of Birth Target Retirement Years Investment Option
12/31/1952 or Earlier 2017 or earlier CalSavers Target Retirement Fund
1/1/1953 ‒ 12/31/1957 2018 - 2022 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020
1/1/1958 ‒ 12/31/1962 2023 - 2027 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2025
1/1/1963 ‒ 12/31/1967 2028 - 2032 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2030
1/1/1968 ‒ 12/31/1972 2033 - 2037 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2035
1/1/1973 ‒ 12/31/1977 2038 - 2042 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2040
1/1/1978 ‒ 12/31/1982 2043 - 2047 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2045
1/1/1983 ‒ 12/31/1987 2048 - 2052 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2050
1/1/1988 ‒ 12/31/1992 2053 - 2057 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2055
1/1/1993 ‒ 12/31/1997 2058 - 2062 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2060
1/1/1998 ‒ 12/31/2002 2063 - 2067 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2065
1/1/2003 ‒ 12/31/2007 2068 - 2072 CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2070
1/1/2008 or Later 2073 or later CalSavers Target Retirement Fund 2020

3. What is the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA?

With a Roth IRA you make contributions to your account that are not tax deductible, but all the money you contribute can be withdrawn at any time without incurring any tax or penalties if you need it. The earnings on your contributions may also be withdrawn on a tax-free basis if certain qualifications are met. In a Traditional IRA, you are generally contributing on a pre-tax basis, depending on your income. When you withdraw money from a Traditional IRA, you generally pay taxes on money withdrawn. This is a simplified summary. Please consult a financial advisor for information specific to your own circumstances.

4. Can I save through a Traditional IRA instead of a Roth IRA?

CalSavers currently offers an option to savers who would like to recharacterize their contributions to a Traditional IRA. You can complete this action online, use this form, or contact Client Services to get the process started.

5. How do I know if Roth or Traditional IRA is right for me?

There are many factors that go into this decision. If you are uncertain as to which is right for you, please contact a financial advisor. One important consideration is the income limit on Roth IRAs; please see the IRS website for more information on income limits.

6. If I have a CalSavers IRA, can I have another IRA or retirement plan at the same time?

Yes, but please note annual contribution limits apply across the accounts. The CalSavers Program will not have information on any other IRAs you may contribute to or whether you also participate in an employer retirement plan. It is your responsibility to ensure that across all of your IRAs, you are contributing within the IRS’ annual limits, which can be found here. Please consult a tax expert or financial advisor to discuss your specific circumstances.

7. Is CalSavers information available in other languages?

All program information is available in English and Spanish. The Program website (www.calsavers.com) is currently available in English, Spanish, simple Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino. Over time, communication materials and the website will be translated into additional languages. In addition, Client Services phone support is available in nearly all languages by calling 855-650-6918.

8. Can the state take my money?

No. The money in the account is your money and the state has no access to it.

9. How long can my money stay in my account?

Please consult your tax advisor for more information, but the following generally apply:

  • For a Roth IRA (the standard CalSavers account type), it can stay in as long as you like until you pass away.
  • If you contribute to a Traditional IRA when it becomes available, the IRS has Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) that you must begin taking withdrawals the year that you turn age 72.

10. How much will I be able to save for retirement?

Check out the Retirement Calculator on the CalSavers website to see how much you can save.

11. Does saving through this program impact my eligibility for other programs like SNAP or TANF?

In general, federal benefits programs do not count retirement assets against a person's eligibility. For more information, check with your benefits office.

12. Does saving through this program impact my eligibility for financial aid for college?

In general, qualified retirement accounts are not counted for federal financial aid; however, you should carefully review your own circumstances with a tax expert or financial advisor. Withdrawals from IRAs can also jeopardize financial aid for the year following the withdrawal. For more information, check with your financial aid office.

13. How do I access my CalSavers account?

You can access your CalSavers account at any time online at saver.calsavers.com or by calling the Program administrator at 855.650.6918 from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. You are encouraged to register online for easy access where you will be able to:

  • update your contact information;
  • check your CalSavers account balance;
  • adjust your contribution elections;
  • designate or change beneficiary information;
  • change investment allocations; and
  • request a distribution.

14. Can I roll over my money from another retirement savings account into my CalSavers account?

Yes, you can roll over money from another retirement savings account into your CalSavers account. Participants should consult with a tax expert or financial advisor before making any changes to better understand any steps to take and restrictions that may apply. For rollovers from pre-tax retirement plans like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, money will be taxed to convert it from pre-tax to post-tax status for inclusion in a Roth IRA. You can initiate a rollover in CalSavers by mailing an IRA Contribution Form to the Program. For more information, see CUSTODIAL ACCOUNT AGREEMENT – Article IX – 9.13 Transfers or Rollovers from Other Plans and DISCLOSURE STATEMENT -- Income Tax Consequences of Establishing a Roth IRA – J. Rollovers and Conversions.

15. When will I receive statements and confirmations?

You will receive quarterly statements detailing the transactions in your CalSavers account for the previous quarter. You will receive a confirmation for each transaction in your CalSavers account, except for payroll contributions through your employer. You can choose to receive statements, transaction confirmations, and other personal correspondence via electronic delivery or in paper format.

Your statement is not a tax document and should not be submitted with your tax forms. However, your statement(s) may be helpful to determine how much you withdrew or contributed during the previous tax year. Some tax documents you should expect to receive from CalSavers includes the IRS Form 5498 (showing your contributions to your account) and the IRS Form 1099-R (if you take a distribution from your account).

See CUSTODIAL ACCOUNT AGREEMENT – Article IX – 9.03 Representations and Responsibilities for additional important information regarding statements, confirmations and correspondence.

16. How long will it take for the Program to make changes that I request to my account?

Unless you are notified otherwise, notices, changes, Investment options selections, and other elections relating to your CalSavers account will take effect or be entered into the payroll system within a reasonable period of time after the Program administrator or your employer has received the appropriate documentation in good order, but no later than (i) 30 days from the Program administrator’s receipt of your notice of change or (ii) the length of time prescribed under the Program Rules. The Program, CalSavers Retirement Savings Board, the state and the Program administrator are not responsible for the accuracy of the documentation you submit to us to make changes to your CalSavers account, whether submitted online or in paper form.

17. What documentation does the Program need from me to process my requested transactions?

To process any transaction in the Program, all necessary documents must be in good order, which means executed when required and properly, fully, and accurately completed.

Self-Enrollment

1. What do I need to enroll?

To enroll as an individual (not through an employer), you must:

  • have earned income
  • be at least age eighteen
  • have a bank account from which you will make contributions, and
  • provide some personal information, including full legal name; Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; date of birth; physical U.S. street address; designated email address; and any other information reasonably required by the Program for purposes of administering the Program.
  • either make an initial contribution of at least $10 from your bank account or establish a recurring contribution or payroll direct deposit for a minimum of $10 per quarter.

You can join the program today on the Saver website.

Before your CalSavers account is established, you will be asked to acknowledge that:

  • you understand the eligibility requirements for the Roth IRA contribution you are making, and you qualify to make the contribution;
  • you have received a copy of the Program Disclosure Booklet, the Custodial Account Agreement, Disclosure Statement, and Financial Disclosure;
  • you understand that the terms and conditions that apply to a Roth IRA are contained in the Custodial Account Agreement and you agree to be bound by those terms and conditions; and
  • you understand that you may revoke your Roth IRA without penalty within seven days from the date you receive the Disclosure Statement by mailing or delivering a written notice to the Program administrator.

2. How much can I contribute?

You can contribute up to the annual contribution limit set by the IRS or up to the amount of earned income you have for the year (whichever is less). For 2022 the limit is $6,000 if you’re under 50 and $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older. Note that this limit applies to all of your IRA accounts in aggregate. If you have IRA accounts in addition to your CalSavers account, you will need to ensure that in combination, you are not contributing more than federal limits allow.

Eligibility to participate in a Roth IRA is limited to certain annual income levels. To determine if you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, please visit the IRS website.

Through our website and mobile app, you can make direct contributions to your account – either through one-time contributions or set up automatic recurring contributions. Those contributions must be at least $10.