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Colorado Secure Savings Program Pilot About to Launch

State Auto-IRA Plans

The pilot of the Colorado SecureSavings, the Centennial State’s state-sponsored retirement savings program for those whose employers do not offer a retirement plan, will launch in October.

The pilot will not be broadly open; instead, the Colorado Secure Savings Board is set to work with a select group of Colorado businesses to take part in an exclusive pilot of the program.

As part of the preparations for the pilot and the full launch, the program’s online presence has been enhanced. The program’s new mini website provides an overview of the program, as well as discussions of employers’ roles and responsibilities, and the processes by which they are to begin participating.

Gov. Jared Polis (D) on July 14, 2020 signed into law the measure creating the Colorado Secure Savings Program. Employers that (1) have five or more employees who have worked for the employer for at least 180 days, (2) have been in business for two or more years, and (3) do not offer a retirement savings program to any employees are to register with the program.

The Colorado program is connected to that of New Mexico, its neighbor to the south, which also came into being in the same year. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed the New Mexico Work and Save Act into law on Feb. 26, 2020.

The Colorado Department of the Treasury announced Nov. 9, 2021, that the Colorado Secure Savings Program and the New Mexico Work and Save programs signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to pursue a formalized partnership agreement for their auto-enroll IRA programs.  

Officials believe that the agreement will reduce fees by creating economies of scale, will create a portable benefit that follows workers across jobs and state lines, and bring each state’s program to self-sufficiency faster. Vestwell will serve as the administrator of the plans.

Launch Dates

Colorado SecureSavings will officially launch in 2023. But the counterpart to the south with which it is connected does not have the same timetable.

In 2021, a measure was enacted that made a number of revisions to New Mexico Work and Save Act, including an extension of time for the New Mexico Work and Save Board to design and implement the Marketplace and the IRA program to July 1, 2024.