• In late 2021, new legislation was signed into law, requiring private employers who do not sponsor a retirement plan to automatically enroll their employees into the State’s new program. The New York State Secure Choice Savings Plan (Program).

    No official implementation schedule has been announced. New York is presently working on the program schedule, but it is not yet operational. 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

NY 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:

  • $250 for each employee for each calendar year or portion of a calendar year during which the employee neither was enrolled in the program nor had elected out of participation in the program.
  • $500 for any portion of that calendar year during which such employee continues to be unenrolled without electing out of participation in the program.
  • $1,000 for each employee for the third and subsequent violations.

Under the Secure Choice Savings Program, employers are responsible for administering the plan for current and new employees who have chosen to opt in, including:

  • Deducting payroll amounts at an agreed upon rate or at the default rate of 3% 
  • Enrolling employees in program 
  • Withholding and transferring withheld wages to program 
  • Providing materials and information about program to all employees 

Enrollment is set to begin this year, but an exact date has not been announced. Once enrollment is open for all qualified employers, you will have 9 months to comply. 

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

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

New York Secure Choice OR Customized Plan?

New York 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 York 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 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 Not permitted Available
Income Limit Determined by Roth IRA contribution limits No income limits
Investment Choices Default investment option and investments to be determined 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 York 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 York 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.