Get answers to frequently asked questions
Colorado SecureSavings is a retirement savings program created for Colorado’s nearly 940,000 workers without access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Here are answers to many of the common things we’ve been asked. If you have questions beyond these, we’re here to help.
- Do employers have to facilitate this State program?
Yes. Under Colorado law, Colorado employers will be required to offer their employees some sort of retirement savings. This can be a traditional pension, a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan, a SEP Plan, a SIMPLE IRA plan, a governmental deferred compensation plan — or an account from Colorado SecureSavings.
- Are there any fees for employers to participate?
There are no employer fees. Also, employers are neither required, nor permitted, to match employee contributions to the program.
- Do other states have programs like this?
Yes, similar programs are up and running in other states, including California, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, and Illinois. And many other states are about to launch state-facilitated retirement savings programs or are in the process of passing legislation to support them, including Virginia, Delaware, and New Mexico, among others.
- How is the Colorado SecureSavings program different from plans like a 401(k) or an IRA?
Many plans involve complex administration requirements, fiduciary liability, and high costs, all of which can keep employers like you from offering employees retirement savings plans. But Colorado SecureSavings is different. It offers some of the best features of popular employer plans and IRAs, but without the burdensome requirements, allowing employers to focus on facilitating the program — all with no cost to you.
- Does this program replace 401(k)s?
No, this program is not meant to replace or compete with 401(k)s or other qualified retirement plans. Employers that offer a qualified retirement plan can certify exemption from the program.
- What is considered to be a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan?
An employer-sponsored retirement plan includes a plan qualified under Internal Revenue Code sections 401(a) (including a 401(k) plan), qualified annuity plan under section 403(a), tax-sheltered annuity plan under section 403(b), Simplified Employee Pension plan under section 408(k), a SIMPLE IRA plan under section 408(p), or governmental deferred compensation plan under section 457(b). It does not include payroll deduction IRAs.
- What benefits does the program offer and why was it created?
Nearly 940,000 Colorado workers lack access to a qualified retirement savings plan at work. To address this urgent need, the Colorado Legislature passed a law that created Colorado SecureSavings to make it easier for more workers to save for their retirement. The program uses automatic enrollment and savings through payroll deductions to help employees save. Eligible employees can opt out if they don’t want to participate or prefer to save another way.
- How can facilitating Colorado SecureSavings help my business?
It can be challenging for small businesses to provide a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan that helps employees reach their financial goals. Colorado SecureSavings can help you minimize this burden. Employers that already facilitate this type of program tell us it’s a manageable way to provide retirement savings. The program can help you attract and retain good employees, and there are no fees for you.
- Exactly how does the program help my employees?
Colorado SecureSavings makes it easier for employees to save for retirement, and automatic retirement savings through the workplace can help them have a more financially secure future. The program uses automatic enrollment through payroll contributions to help employees save. Employees can opt out if they don’t want to participate or prefer to save another way.
- What was the legislation that created Colorado SecureSavings?
In 2019, the Colorado Legislature enacted SB20-200, which authorized the Colorado SecureSavings Board, the authority responsible for creating Colorado SecureSavings.