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New York State Secure Choice Savings Program: What you need to know
Employers Retirement legislation

New York State Secure Choice Savings Program: What you need to know

Guideline Team

In recent years, many states have established programs to make it easier for businesses to provide retirement benefits and help employees save money for their futures. Currently, more than half of all New Yorkers don't have a retirement plan through their employer. To help address this, New York passed a law in October 2021, establishing the New York Secure Choice Savings Program.

The law says employers must provide retirement options if they employ 10 or more individuals. If an employer doesn't offer a qualified retirement program, they'll need to enroll employees in New York State's Secure Choice Savings Plan.

Below we'll take a look at what business owners in New York need to know about the program, including:

  • Is the New York Secure Choice Savings Program mandatory?
  • How does the program work?
  • What deadlines do business owners need to meet?
  • What are the qualifying retirement plan alternatives to the New York Secure Choice Savings Program?

Let’s dive in.

How does the New York Secure Choice Savings Program work?

The New York Secure Choice Savings Program automatically enrolls eligible employees in an individual retirement account (IRA), and the contributions are taken from the employee's paycheck. The standard contribution is 3 percent. The account is portable, which means employees can keep contributing to their IRA if they change jobs or move.

Employees can decide the amount they want to contribute, and they can change their investment amount at any time. They can choose either a percentage of their wages or a dollar amount up to the annual IRA contribution limits. This flexibility empowers employees to save the amount that’s right for them.

Is New York State's Secure Choice Savings Plan retirement mandate mandatory?

Yes, the New York Secure Choice Savings is mandatory for employers with at least 10 employees. The employer must have been in business for at least two years, and employees must be 18 or older.

Employees who are eligible to participate in the program will be automatically enrolled in the New York Secure Choice Savings, but employees are not required to participate. They can choose to opt-out at any time.

What deadlines do I need to know?

The development of the Secure Choice Savings Plan is still ongoing. Currently, there is no required enrollment deadline. For the most up-to-date deadline information, check New York’s program website.

How much will New York State's Secure Choice Savings Plan cost?

Details of the program's cost have yet to be made available. You can check the program's website for updates.

What alternatives can I consider?

To meet the retirement mandate, employers can opt for a qualified private retirement benefit, like a 401(k). There are many benefits to a 401(k) plan, including:

  • Offering both traditional and Roth options
  • Higher contribution limits, which means employees can save more money toward retirement
  • Employers can offer to match or contribute to their employees' savings

As an employer, you can meet the mandate with New York State's Secure Choice Savings Plan or by offering a company-sponsored retirement benefit, like a Guideline 401(k). No matter what you choose, you're helping your employees prepare today for a better financial future tomorrow.


Guideline has prepared this summary from third-party sources as of July 2023. The information herein is considered to be reliable at the time of writing, may not necessarily be all-inclusive, is not guaranteed as to accuracy and is subject to change at any time without notice.

The information provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for specific tax, legal and/or financial advice that considers all relevant facts and circumstances. You are advised to consult a qualified financial adviser or tax professional before relying on the information provided herein. Deadlines, fees, and other program details are subject to change by the state without notice and should be checked prior to making any decisions. If you already offer a qualified employer-sponsored plan, exemptions may be required. Please consult with your states specific exemption information ( for more details.