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CalSavers Releases an RFP for ‘Program Consulting Services’

State Auto-IRA Plans

CalSavers, the Golden State’s government-sponsored retirement plan, is looking for help and released a request for proposals (RFP) on Friday for “program consulting services.”

The intent of the RFP is to select a contractor to provide technical and administrative consultation services to the California Retirement Savings Board.

“A qualified general consultant, including a registered municipal advisor, is needed to provide the board with expertise on the state-run retirement program industry, including trends in customer service standards, pricing, program comparison analyses, and relevant federal law and regulation,” according to the announcement.

The consultant will also provide the board with educational training in the areas of governance and fiduciary duty, as well as act as a resource to the executive director and program staff for consultation and review of “ad-hoc projects.”

The scope of the services provided includes:

  • Maintaining awareness of similar state-administered retirement savings programs and/or federal programs.
  • Providing the board guidance on applicable federal laws or regulations, such as rules from the United States Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, that relate to state-administered retirement savings plans and IRAs.
  • Provide updates on industry developments, including legislative and regulatory changes.
  • Provide analysis as needed of CalSavers vendors, particularly in the areas of recordkeeping, custodial services, and customer service standards.
  • Present a fiduciary training session approximately once every 18 months to provide the board with education and information regarding its fiduciary role and responsibilities.

Passed in September 2016 and taking effect on January 1, 2017, the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program requires all private sector employers with one or more employees that do not offer a payroll deduction retirement savings vehicle to provide their employees access to the program.

Under the state mandate, employers are exempt from ERISA, enabling their employees access to an automatic payroll deduction IRA with limited administrative duties, no financial cost, and no fiduciary responsibility on the employer's part.