Legislative Summary:

Senate Bill 1234 was originally sponsored by Sen. Kevin de León (D), which formally established the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board in 2012. However, the CalSavers program wasn’t formally signed into law until September 2016 (SB 1234). The most recent amendment to the Act was signed into law on August 26th 2022.

Program Description:

CalSavers is a new retirement savings (IRA) program, created by the CalSavers Retirement Savings Board in conjunction with the Employment Development Department. The program is meant to prepare people for retirement, by directing all employers and employees into saving money, through automatic enrollment of every employee into a state-facilitated payroll-deduct Roth IRA. The CalSavers pilot program was introduced in November 2018 and the full program officially launched on July 1st, 2019.

Affected Employers:

California employers with more than one (1+) employee, who have been in business for two or more years, and do not currently offer a payroll-deduct retirement savings program (e.g., 401k plan), must enroll every employee within 30 days of their hire date. Every affected employer must register and choose to opt-in or claim exemption.

General Requirement:

Automatic enroll employees at 5% deferral with annual increases of 1% (up to a maximum of 8%) of the enrollee’s wages. Every affected employer must register and choose to opt-in or claim exemption.

Launch Status:

July 1, 2019

Full Implementation:

June 30, 2022

Compliance Deadline:

September 20, 2022 – Employers with 5 or more employees

Non-Compliance Penalties:

Deadline Maximum Penalty
$250/employee, 90 days after compliance deadline
$500/ employee, 180 days after compliance deadline

Employer Costs:


Employee Costs:

$100 annual account fee + 0.95% account balance


The program offers a suite of 12 target date funds (TDFs), as the default investment option, and additional investment options – including a money market, core bond, global equity, and ESG balanced funds.

Program Website: