Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 28, 2024, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, signed into law a bill that creates a new state-run retirement program called “Washington Saves.”  Under the program, “covered employers” must give “covered employees” the opportunity to contribute a portion of their pay to an individual retirement account (“IRA”) on a pre-tax basis in order to save for retirement. 

Which Employers Must Comply With Washington Saves?

Only “covered employers” must comply with Washington Saves.  A “covered employer” is an employer that:

  • has been in business in Washington State for at least two (2) years;
  • has a physical presence in the State as of the immediately preceding calendar year;
  • does not offer a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b) plan, to their “covered employees” (employees who are at least age 18) who have been continuously employed for at least one year; and
  • employs, and at any point during the immediately preceding calendar year employed, employees working a combined minimum of 10,400 hours (which translates to approximately 5 full-time or full-time equivalent employees.)

Continue Reading Washington Saves; Washington State’s New State-Mandated Retirement Program

Seyfarth Synopsis: Under Section 604 of Secure 2.0, sponsors of 401(k), 403(b) and eligible governmental plans may allow employees to designate employer match (including match on student loan repayments) or nonelective contributions as Roth after-tax contributions at the time they are made. This provision was effective for contributions made after December 29, 2022 (i.e., the date Secure 2.0 was enacted). Since the issuance of Secure 2.0, a number of questions relating to this optional provision have been lingering. As previously reported here, on December 20, 2023, the IRS issued Notice 2024-2 (the “Notice”) providing guidance on several provisions under Secure 2.0, including Section 604.  A brief overview of the guidance issued relating to designated Roth employer contributions is provided below. 

Are plans required to allow employees to elect to make Roth employer contributions?

No.  The Notice clarifies – as we expected – that plans may, but are not required to allow participants to designate employer matching and/or nonelective contributions as Roth.  This is the case even if the plan allows employees to make Roth employee contributions.Continue Reading “SECURE-ing” the Answers to Outstanding Questions on the Rothification of Employer Contributions  

Seyfarth Synopsis: Adding to the holiday joy of employee benefits practitioners nationwide, yesterday the IRS issued guidance on several outstanding questions related to SECURE 2.0. At this time of year, we are especially thankful that the guidance was issued on a day other than the day before or following a national holiday.

The so-called “grab

On November 24, 2023, the IRS issued highly anticipated proposed regulations concerning the provisions under SECURE and SECURE 2.0, requiring 401(k) plans to expand deferral eligibility for long-term part-time employees. The proposed rules answer a number of burning questions that have been lingering since 2019 when SECURE was first enacted. In this special episode, Seyfarth