Bill to Create Missouri Secure Choice Savings Program Introduced

Missouri is the latest state whose legislature has before it a measure that would establish a state-run program for employees whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, who also serves as Minority Whip in the Missouri House of Representatives, introduced the Missouri Secure Choice Savings Program Act (H.B. 1672) on Jan. 4.


The bill would allow employers with 25 or more workers that do not already offer employees a retirement plan to automatically enroll workers aged 18 and older in a state-run payroll-deduction Roth IRA. It would apply to for-profit and non-profit employers and would be open to employers with fewer than 25 workers who wish to participate on a voluntary basis.

Employers’ Role

Participating employers would not be fiduciaries under the program, and would not be responsible for the program’s administration or investments. Employers would not be allowed to match contributions.

Employers’ role would be limited to:

  • offering the program to new workers;
  • providing an annual enrollment period for ongoing employees;
  • automatically enrolling workers who do not opt out; and
  • depositing worker payroll deductions into the program’s trust fund.


As provided in the bill, the Missouri Secure Choice Savings Program would:

  • allow employees to select how much to contribute up to the current maximum annual contribution limits for Roth IRAs;
  • allow employees to pick their investment options from a menu of choices established by the board running the program;
  • automatically enroll employees who fail to select an investment option;
  • employees who are automatically enrolled would make contributions at 3% of pay; and
  • employee contributions would be invested in a life-cycle fund that automatically becomes more conservatively invested as they age.

The Board

The bill would establish a five-member board to oversee the program. It calls for the board to seek the opinion of the IRS regarding whether the Roth IRA established under the bill qualifies for tax-favored status and whether the program is subject to ERISA. It also provides that the board may not implement the program if the IRS determines that the proposed IRA does not qualify for tax-favored treatment, or if the program is considered an ERISA employee benefit plan.

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