New Colorado Law Requires Employers to Participate in the State Retirement Program or to Opt Out:

Effective as of January 1, 2023, the Colorado SecureSavings Program (the “Program”), which is the state’s retirement program, applies to any business if the following conditions apply:

  • It is registered to conduct business in the state of Colorado;
  • It has at least five W-2 employees who have worked for it for at least 180 days;
  • It has been in business for two or more years; and
  • It does not currently offer a qualified retirement savings program to its employees.

Such employers must participate in the Program. As for employers that are exempt (e.g., because they already offer a retirement plan to their employees), they must opt out of the Program by certifying their exemption via the Program’s website.

Per the Program website’s Frequently Asked Questions section, “Employers that offer a qualified retirement plan are not required to participate in the program, but they need to certify their exemption.” When an employer accesses the website, in order to certify its exemption, the employer will need its EIN as well as a Program “Access Code.” The Program’s website states that “Your access code was sent to you by postal service or email.” 

After receipt of the notification that includes the Access Code, employers will have thirty days to register with the Program or to apply for exemption. The deadline to register or apply for an exemption varies based on the employer’s size. For example, the deadline is March 15, 2023 for employers with 50 or more employees. A failure to register for the Program or to apply for exemption in a timely manner can result in a fine of up to $100 per employee per year (up to a maximum of $5,000 per year).Feel free to contact me if you or any of your clients have not received their Program Access Code. I can provide instructions on how to obtain it and how to opt out online, in order to avoid penalties.