United Way of San Diego County Encourages Local Participation in Low-Cost CalSavers Retirement Program

CalSavers is the state of California’s new retirement savings program created for the millions of Californians who do not have a way to save for retirement through their job. United Way of San Diego County (UWSD) is encouraging all eligible San Diegans to enroll in the program—and recommending that all eligible employers facilitate a CalSavers program for their workers. 

CalSavers was created by legislation in 2016 requiring California employers that do not already sponsor a retirement plan to participate in a CalSavers automatic enrollment individual retirement account (IRA). The program makes it easier for workers to save for their retirement by allowing local small businesses and companies to provide workers with a retirement savings option—with no employer fees, no fiduciary liability and low administrative complexity. 

“Too many San Diegans are unprepared for retirement, threatening the stability of their families,” says Nancy L. Sasaki, President and CEO of United Way of San Diego County. “Given today’s economic uncertainty, without an easy way to save for retirement, many workers simply won’t. This lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement plans disproportionately affects younger workers and people of color, who already face significant financial hurdles. However, mounting evidence shows that access makes a difference. That’s exactly what CalSavers provides, and why we’re encouraging all eligible employers and employees to take advantage of this amazing program now.” 

UWSD has also joined forces with core local partners to spread the word about CalSavers in San Diego, including:

●      City of San Diego – Economic Development Department

●      East County Economic Development Corporation

●      San Diego Chamber of Commerce

●      San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

●      “The Brink” Small Business Development Center at USD

Statistics about retirement savings in California: 

●      Nearly half of all Californians have inadequate savings, and are on track for significant economic hardship in retirement. 

●      7.5 million Californians lack a way to save for retirement at work.

●      Two-thirds of California workers without access to work-sponsored retirement plans are people of color and half are Latino. 

●      Even though saving while you’re young makes a major difference, two-thirds of working millennials have no money put away for retirement. 

●      Access makes a difference: people are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they can do it at work. 

How CalSavers Works

There are two ways to join the program: at work through a participating employer or directly for those who do not work for a participating employer. At work, employees are enrolled automatically into CalSavers unless they choose to opt out. Once enrolled, employees can contribute to their personal retirement account automatically with each paycheck. Participants can stick with the standard account settings or choose their own. To ensure CalSavers works for our mobile workforce, savers can keep their account as they move from job to job, and self‐employed individuals can participate. 

Eligible employers can register for CalSavers at any time by the following deadlines:

●      Businesses with over 100 employees: September 30, 2020 (deadline has passed, but employers can still enroll)

●      Businesses with over 50 employees: June 30, 2021

●      Businesses with five or more employees: June 30, 2022

“CalSavers is free for businesses,” says Sasaki. “It’s an easy way to provide for your financial futures and help your employees thrive. We encourage everyone to enroll in this valuable program as soon as possible.” 

Useful links

●      Learn more at saver.calsavers.com

●      Ready to sign up? Click here to start your enrollment. 

●      Download the bilingual mobile app to make saving even easier.  

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