A MarylandSaves WorkLife Savings Account can help you save for your future

Your WorkLife Account can help you save for emergencies and retirement through automatic payroll contributions to your own Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). If your employer signed you up, you’ve already got an account. Now you can decide how much to save.

Here’s how to save in your WorkLife Account

Save through your employer

Once your employer signs you up for MarylandSaves, you can choose to:

  • Do nothing and you save automatically. You will be enrolled automatically with the savings and investment options most people use about 30 days after signup.

  • Customize your savings. You have the power to change your contribution levels, investment options, and beneficiaries or make withdrawals at any time. Sign in to your account and change your savings options here.

  • Opt out. You don’t have to save through MarylandSaves if you don’t want to. You can opt out or re-enroll at any time. As an alternative, if you’re not sure what you can afford, you can set your savings rate to as low at 1% of your paycheck.

Once enrolled, you’ll start saving a percentage of your paycheck automatically in your own WorkLife Account. Once you’ve set up a login, you can check on your money anytime.

Self-employed? You can save, too!

If you’re self-employed or don’t work for an employer registered with MarylandSaves, you can contribute directly to your own WorkLife Account. It’s easy and takes only a few minutes to get started:

  • Create an account. You'll just need your Social Security number, date of birth, and residential address.

  • Customize your savings choices. Set up automatic contributions from your bank account to your WorkLife Account, or choose the initial minimum contribution and select your investment options. Learn more about contribution limits.

Sign up now

Who can get a WorkLife Account from MarylandSaves?

Anyone who works in Maryland and is at least 18 years old is eligible.

What is a Roth IRA?

A Roth IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that helps you reduce your taxes once you retire. While you’re working, you pay your usual income tax on the money you earn and deposit it into your Roth IRA. Your Roth IRA earns money (interest and/or dividends), and that money is constantly added to your contributions. When you retire and start taking money out of your Roth IRA (like you’re paying yourself), there are no taxes. In other words, all the interest that your account earns over the years is tax-free. And that’s a big deal. For even more details on Roth IRAs you can visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

Deciding how much to save

You don’t have to make a decision now. If you don’t, we’ll start you at 5% of each paycheck and, unless you change it, that will go up 1% each year up to a maximum of 10%. You can change this anytime via your WorkLife Account.

But you’re in control. If you want to consider a different savings rate or investment options MarylandSaves offers resources and tools to help.

See resources

Retirement savings calculator

You can also use our retirement savings calculator to experiment with different savings rates and see what fits your budget.

Go to the retirement calculator

What to expect when you’re enrolled

If you were added by your employer and don’t make changes or opt out, your contributions will start with the first paycheck after 30 days: Here are the default options: 

  • 5% of your gross income (wages before taxes and other deductions) will be contributed to your account.

  • The first $1,000 of your funds will be invested in our Emergency Savings Fund. All contributions after the initial $1,000 will be invested in a “Target Retirement Date” fund that changes based on your expected retirement date.

  • When you’re getting close to retirement age, MarylandSaves plans to offer options to maximize your Social Security and to convert your account to a monthly paycheck. (Yes, there will be some conditions, and these options won’t be available for a few years.)

How to customize your WorkLife Account

Once you have finished setting up your WorkLife Account by verifying your contact information and by acknowledging receipt of the account documents, you’ll have the power to:

  • Change your contribution rate

  • Make withdrawals

  • Change your investment choices

  • Designate beneficiaries (who will inherit your IRA in the event of your passing)

  • Manage your personal information

Can I save less than 5% or opt out?

Yes. If trying a lower savings rate doesn’t work for you, you can opt out of participating in MarylandSaves at any time online, by phone, or mailing in this form. If you opt out before the end of the 30-day notification period, no payroll deductions will be made on your behalf and your account will not be activated. If you opt out after 30 days, your employer will be notified to stop your payroll deductions, and any deductions that may have been made can be withdrawn. You can always rejoin the program and begin contributing to your account at any time by accessing your account online or by contacting our Client Service Team.

Opt out

What does the program cost?

MarylandSaves WorkLife Accounts are set up to cost less than bank accounts or other retirement savings accounts, but they do have fees. In the first year, if you choose to stay with the standard options, your account will cost $22.50 plus about 18¢ for each $100 you save. (That’s because MarylandSaves and the program administrator are waiving some fees when your account starts up.) After that, your account will cost $30 per year plus from 18¢ up to about 26¢ per $100 if you stay with the standard options but will be different if you choose other investment options. The fees on the various options are shown below. There is no asset-based fee for the Emergency Savings Fund. Please see the Program Description for more information about fees.

Fee Structure Table as of September 2022

Annualized Asset-Based Fees
Investment Option Underlying Investment Program Admin. Fee Total Annualized Asset-Based Fee
Emergency Savings 0.00% 0.18% 0.18%
Target Retirement¹ 0.09% 0.18% 0.27%
Bond Index 0.025% 0.18% 0.205%
Global Growth Stock 0.67% 0.18% 0.85%

Still have questions? We’ve got answers in our FAQs.

Read the FAQs


1. MarylandSaves Program Description – September 2022