Get answers to frequently asked questions

MarylandSaves is a workplace savings program created to make it easy for Maryland businesses to help their employees save. The State of Maryland wants all Maryland businesses to be able to offer retirement savings, but many do not because they don’t have the people, time, or money to buy a plan, pay the fees, and make contributions. The MarylandSaves program is designed to make it easy and free to help your employees save. 

Here are answers to many of the common things we’ve been asked. If you have questions beyond these, we’re here to help. Just drop us a line.

Do employers have to sign their employees up for MarylandSaves?

NO, but MarylandSaves offers a way to meet the State’s requirement at no cost to employer. 

Under Maryland law, most* Maryland employers will soon be required to offer their employees some sort of retirement savings. This can be a traditional pension, a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan, a SEP plan, a SIMPLE IRA plan, a governmental deferred compensation plan — or a WorkLife Account from MarylandSaves. MarylandSaves is not an ERISA plan and does not offer the features of most ERISA plans. However, of these options MarylandSaves is the only one that doesn’t charge the employer a fee.

*This applies to businesses that have been in operation for at least 2 calendar years, have at least one W-2 employee, and use an automated payroll system.

How is MarylandSaves different from plans like a 401(k) or an IRA?

The MarylandSaves WorkLife Savings Program was designed primarily for small businesses or non-profits that don’t have the resources or cannot afford the contributions required by traditional retirement plans. Traditional retirement plans generally involve employer contributions and fees as well as complex administrative and reporting requirements and impose fiduciary liability, all of which can keep some employers from offering employees any retirement savings plan at all.

MarylandSaves is different. It offers some of the best features of popular employer plans, but with few requirements and no employer costs. 

What is considered to be a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan?

An employer-sponsored retirement plan includes a plan qualified under Internal Revenue Code sections 401(a) (including a 401(k) plan), qualified annuity plan under section 403(a), tax-sheltered annuity plan under section 403(b), Simplified Employee Pension plan under section 408(k), a SIMPLE IRA plan under section 408(p), or governmental deferred compensation plan under section 457(b). It does not include payroll deduction IRAs.

Where can I find a copy of the program rules?

The MarylandSaves retirement savings program rules are posted here.

Will assistance be available in other languages?

Yes, the call center will offer assistance in English and Spanish and will have access to translation services for other languages. Certain materials may also be available in Spanish.