• While the initial implementation date was March 28, 2021, the program was allowed up to a one-year extension due to COVID-19. As of late 2022, it appears that the state was still finalizing their implementation timelines.
    Those who haven’t yet adopted an employer-based plan have two choices:

    • Contact your Regional Plan Consultant
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Non-Compliant Employers Face Stiff Penalties

NJ businesses that don’t adhere to state-mandated retirement legislation within one year will receive a written warning from the government. Each subsequent year of non-compliance will result in these penalties:

  • 2nd year: $100 per employee
  • 3rd and 4th years: $250 per employee
  • 5th year and beyond: $500 per employee

Employers have little responsibility when offering the NJ Secure Choice Savings Plan. Employer responsibilities include the following:

  1. They must offer the plan to any employee who has worked for the company as of their 90th day of employment.
  2. They must track employees who opt out of the program.
  3. They must provide program information to all current and new employees.
  4. They must automatically withhold three percent of pretax earnings for employees who do not opt out of the plan.
  5. They must deposit retirement benefit deductions with the state.
  6. They must offer an annual open enrollment period.
  7. They must submit an employee census to Secure Choice annually

You can help your clients avoid these fines and offer a retirement plan that will:

  • Comply with the New Jersey mandate
  • Reduce taxes
  • Control costs
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Maximize business value
  • Enable them to work with their preferred business partners

New Jersey Secure Choice OR Customized Plan?

New Jersey Secure Choice is a basic, one-size-fits-all retirement savings program for businesses that do not wish to sponsor a plan for their own employees. Yet there are many businesses that would be better served with a plan from TRA that’s customized to their needs.

New Jersey Secure Choice Custom 401(k) from TRA
Pre- and Post-Tax Deferrals Roth IRA w/ auto after-tax payroll deduction Pre-tax or Roth elective deferral contributions
Contributions Auto-enrolled at a 3% contribution rate, unless they opt out or change their rate, and may contribute $7,000 maximum to the plan per year Lesser of 100% of compensation or $23,000
Catch-Up Contributions Determined by Roth IRA contribution limits $7,500 annually for those age 50 and older
Employer Match Employers cannot contribute to the program such as matching funds. Available
Income Limit Determined by Roth IRA contribution limits No income limits
Investment Choices Limited Can provide a wide variety from top asset managers
Automated Payroll Integration Available Available
Customizable for businesses Not customizable Yes – for example, Safe Harbor, SIMPLE, Profit-Sharing & Cash Balance
Tax Credit No, since there are no start-up costs for employers Yes – 100% of the expenses paid up to the greater of $500 or the lesser of $250 for each non-HCE’s. A maximum tax credit of $5,000 per year would be available for 3 years.

TRA Plans to Consider

For New Jersey Secure Choice businesses who want to sponsor a retirement plan, some plans to consider include:

Safe Harbor 401(k)
Cross Tested Profit-Sharing Allocation
401(k) plus Cash Balance Plan

Other alternatives to New Jersey Secure Choice include SIMPLE 401(k) Plans, Group 401(k) Plans (MEPs, PEPs and Aggregation Programs), and 403(b) Plans (for non-profits).


Working closely with you, TRA will create a customized plan that meets your client’s business. We partner with top recordkeepers and investment managers around the country and deliver exceptional client service. We also offer 3(16) Plan Administration Relief Services (PARS) to relieve business owners of day-to-day plan administration responsibilities and manage their fiduciary risk.

Complete the form below and one of TRA’s Regional Plan Consultants will be in contact with you.

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Consider TRA's 3(16) Fiduciary Services & Plan Administration

To alleviate the day-to-day administrative burdens of yours or your clients retirement plans.