MarylandSaves for Employers
November 11, 2022
By Donald N Hoffman
The Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program, a.k.a. MarylandSaves, was signed into law in 2016 to address the large portion of Marylanders working in the private sector who don’t have retirement plans. The law requires that most Maryland employers offer employees some form of retirement savings—either a 401(k) plan, 401(b) plan, traditional pension plan, SIMPLE IRA plan, SEP plan, or government deferred compensation plan—or the newly established WorkLife Savings Account (an employee-funded Roth IRA) through MarylandSaves. The legislation applies to all Maryland employers who have been in business for at least two years, have at least one W-2 employee, and use a payroll system.
The MarylandSaves program launched state-wide on September 15, 2022. There are currently no penalties for non-compliance with the program, but employers who enroll in MarylandSaves or certify their exemption if they already offer a retirement savings plan by December 1, 2022, will receive a waiver of the $300 annual report filing fee from the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT).
Enrolling in MarylandSaves
All Maryland employers should have received a notice from the State of Maryland via email or mail with an access code to enroll or register for exemption for the MarylandSaves program. We recently learned that many of these letters never went out because the State of Maryland had not provided MarylandSaves administrators with employer contact information.
Once your business is set up through the MarylandSaves platform, your employees will receive information on the program directly through MarylandSaves. Employees who do not opt-out of the program within 30 days will be automatically enrolled, with a percentage of their paycheck deposited into their WorkLife Savings Account. Employees have complete control of their WorkLife Savings Accounts and may change their investments and contributions, withdraw money, or opt out of the program at any time.
What if my business already offers a retirement plan?
Employers who already offer qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans must still certify their exemption from the MarylandSaves program to receive a waiver of the $300 annual report filing fee for 2023. If you were provided an access code, you can certify your exemption here. If you did not receive an access code, you can certify your exemption here.
More developments to come
Since its inception, MarylandSaves has provided little information on how the program will be implemented and enforced. Program administrators have had limited input from the State of Maryland thus far, and we expect to see further changes to the program. If you have any questions or need assistance in certifying your compliance with the MarylandSaves program, please contact your advisors.