By the end of 2022, nearly every small to midsize business in California will be mandated by the state to offer their employees some type of retirement plan.
To simplify the process, California created the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers), so companies don’t have to set up their own retirement plan but may opt in to CalSavers. It is a kind of one-size-fits-all offering that is managed by the state of California. Enrollees under the age of 50 can save up to $6,000 a year, and for those over 50, may save up to $7,000 annually.
It is definitely a helpful step toward retirement savings for those who have not had the opportunity before, but, if the state is now mandating that a company has to have a retirement plan in place, why not make it more flexible and beneficial to the employees and the employer? With a 401(k) plan, you can do that.
In the past, companies may have assumed setting up their own 401(k) plan would cost too much and take too much time. With so many more products on the market, it has never been easier to set one up.
A 401(k) allows employees to put money into the plan every year, and you, as the employer, can match contributions as you choose. So, a 401(k) plan has the potential to be more financially beneficial than the CalSavers plan.
For those under 50 years old, they can contribute up to $19,500 per year, and, for those over 50, they can put in up to $26,000 annually. Being able to put that much more into retirement savings brings them closer to their retirement goals faster.
Also, CalSavers limits who can contribute to the plan: “High earners,” or those who make more than $135,000, if filing as a single taxpayer, and $199,000, if married filing jointly, are ineligible to participate in the state plan. This is not an issue with a company-sponsored 401(k) plan.
By setting up its own retirement plan, a company may also be eligible for a tax credit for employer retirement plan startup costs. If you qualify, you may receive up to $5,000 per year for three years for the “ordinary and necessary costs” from setting up specified retirement plans for your employees.
One additional intangible benefit is what a 401(k) may mean for retaining current and attracting new employees, especially in a tight labor market. Making your company more competitive by expanding your benefits may be the exact reason why a good employee doesn’t leave or why that skilled applicant chooses you over a competitor.
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