The bill establishes the Colorado secure savings plan (plan), which is a retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. Employers with a specified number of employees in the state are required to participate in the plan, but any employer may choose to participate in the plan.
The Colorado secure savings plan board of trustees (board) is created and consists of the state controller, the director of the governor's office of state planning and budgeting, and 7 additional trustees with certain experience who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The trustees on the board have a fiduciary duty to the plan's enrollees and beneficiaries and are required to:
- Establish investment options that offer employees returns on contributions without incurring debt or liabilities to the state;
- Establish the process for allocating investment earnings and losses to individual plan accounts on a pro rata basis;
- Make and enter into contracts and hire staff as necessary for the administration of the plan;
- Conduct a periodic review of the performance of any investment vendors;
- Cause money in the Colorado secure savings plan fund (fund) to be invested with the intent to achieve cost savings through efficiencies and economies of scale;
- Establish the process for an enrollee to contribute a portion of his or her wages to the plan for automatic deposit and establish the process by which the participating employer forwards those contributions to the plan;
- Establish the process for enrollment in the plan including the process by which an employee can opt not to participate in the plan;
- Accept gifts, grants, and donations from specified entities and pursue options for bank loans or a line of credit to cover the start-up costs of the plan;
- Procure, as needed, insurance against loss in connection with the property, assets, or activities of the plan;
- Allocate administrative fees to individual retirement accounts in the plan on a pro rata basis;
- Set minimum and maximum contribution levels;
- Facilitate education and outreach to employers and employees;
- Ensure that the plan complies with all applicable state and federal laws;
- Deposit all gifts, grants, donations, fees, and earnings from investment of moneys in the fund into the fund and pay the administrative costs and expenses for the creation, management, and operation of the plan from moneys in the fund;
- Determine any nominal and reasonable assistance that may be provided to businesses to offset the initial costs of enrolling employees in the plan and complying with audits and plan implementation;
- Prepare or cause to be prepared certain annual audits and annual reports regarding the plan;
- Develop a process to ensure that employers are in compliance with the requirements of the plan and develop a penalty structure for employers who fail, without reasonable cause, to enroll employees in the plan;
- Conduct or cause to be conducted a financial feasibility study to ensure that the plan will be self-sustaining; and
- Conduct an analysis of relevant consumer protections available under federal law and make recommendations to the general assembly regarding additional necessary consumer protections that should be included in legislation implementing the plan.
The bill specifies the process by which the board is required to engage an investment manager to invest the assets of the plan and specifies the investment options that the board is required to create.
The bill creates the fund as a trust outside of the state treasury, specifies that the fund will include the individual retirement accounts of enrollees in the plan, and allows the board to use a certain percentage of money in the fund for the administrative expenses of the plan. The money in the fund is not property of the state and cannot be commingled with state money.
The board must design and disseminate employer and employee information packets regarding the plan and the options for employee participation in the plan to all employers that participate in the plan.
If, based on the required financial feasibility study, the board determines that the plan will be self-sustaining and would promote greater retirement savings for private-sector employees, the board must recommend to the general assembly that the plan be implemented. The board may not implement the plan unless the general assembly, acting by bill, directs the board to implement the plan.
The bill dictates the timing for the board to implement the plan, if directed to do so by the general assembly, and a time frame for employers to establish a system by which enrollees in the plan can remit payroll deduction contributions to the plan. Employers must automatically enroll employees in the plan unless an employee has opted out of participation in the plan. Enrollees may select an investment option and contribution level or use the default investment option and contribution amount established by the board.
The bill specifies that the state and employers do not have any duty or liability to any party for the payments of any retirement savings benefits accrued by any individual through the plan.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)