featured graphic for California State Treasurer Fiona Ma

CalSavers hits $100 million milestone

Workers throughout California have saved over $100 million for retirement through the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. With 400,000 enrollments including more than 170,000 accounts already funded, the early growth is a positive sign for improving retirement security as the program continues to roll out to employers of all sizes.

“While there is much work to be done to improve retirement security for all, this growth shows how CalSavers is making a difference,” said State Treasurer Fiona Ma. “I am eager to continue our progress so all Californians can age with dignity.”

CalSavers was created to address retirement insecurity for all workers, as more than half of private-sector workers lack access to a retirement plan at work. Designed to make it easier to save for retirement, CalSavers has a simple, understandable menu of investment options, portable accounts, and an accessible, multi-lingual client services team. For employers, CalSavers is easy to facilitate and has no employer fees.

“We continue to demonstrate that access works. When all workers have a way to save for retirement at work, most do it. That’s why we are focused on ensuring all eligible employers sign up and make the program available for their employees.” Executive Director, Katie Selenski said. “This is just the beginning.”

Maria Castillo, a janitor based in Oakland, was one of the very first individuals to enroll in CalSavers back in late 2018 when her employer, Janico Building Services, joined the pilot program. Ms. Castillo, age 51, said “I am very happy I have this retirement plan because I have never had a savings plan before.”

Eligible employers must register for CalSavers before their applicable deadline. The deadline for businesses with more than 50 employees passed on June 30, 2021. Businesses subject to this deadline and the previous deadline can still register for CalSavers. Noncompliant employers may face penalties of $250 per employee and additional penalties for sustained noncompliance. Enforcement is set to begin this fall.
In 2012, California was the first state in the nation to pass legislation establishing an automatic enrollment retirement policy for private sector workers who lack access to work-based retirement plans. Authorized in final form in 2016 by Senate Bill 1234 (de León), the program began a limited pilot phase at the end of 2018 and launched fully statewide on July 1, 2019. CalSavers seeks to facilitate the largest expansion of retirement security since the advent of Social Security in the 1930’s and is already a model for a growing number of states seeking to establish a similar program. Learn more at www.calsavers.com.

This article was released by the California State Treasurer’s Office.