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Cal Savers Retirement Savings Program Registration Deadline Has Passed

For Employers of Five or More Employees Not Sponsoring a Retirement Plan – Time to Register Now!

Headshot of Don Hitzeman. Dark blazer, red and black tie.

For Employers of Five or More Employees Not Sponsoring a Retirement Plan – Time to Register Now!

All employers in California who employ five or more employees and who do not provide a qualified retirement savings program were required by the California Government Code to register for the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, an automatic enrollment individual retirement account (IRA) with no employer fees or fiduciary liability, according to the Program’s website at

This offers the employees of small California businesses a means of saving for retirement short of the employer adopting and administering a 401(k) or other similar retirement plan themselves. 

The CalSavers Retirement Savings Trust Act [California Government Code Sections 100000 – 100050] was enacted in 2016, but gave employers of five or more employees until June 30, 2022 to register for the plan. 

For those employers who have registered for the plan, be aware that a waiting period is not required for employees to participate, there are no employer contributions that will be accepted under the plan and employers must upload required information about newly participating employees within 30 days of their hire date through the program’s employer portal. Otherwise, there is minimal employer involvement in the program.

If an employer offers a qualified retirement plan already, the employer still needs to register their company on the CalSavers website and request an exemption from the state’s retirement program.

If an eligible employer does not register its employees for the program, the employer will likely be receiving notification of a violation of the Government Code and will have 90 days from the notice date to register. Those qualified employers who are required to register and have not done so are subject to penalties ranging from $250.00 to $750.00 per employee, depending on the length of delay in complying with the registration requirements.

Finally, as of January 1, 2023, the requirements to register and administer the CalSavers plan will extend to all California employers with at least one employee who is not an owner of the business, with registration for those employers required by December 31, 2025.

Donald W. Hitzeman is a shareholder with Reid & Hellyer, A Professional Corporation, and an experienced Business Law Litigator and Transactional Attorney. He has over 38 years of legal experience, including advising business owners and operators on employee issues, as well as general business litigation, transactional matters and estate planning. He may be reached at his Murrieta office at (951)695-8700 or