Washington joins 15 states with auto-enrollment retirement program initiative

Apr 18, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Washington state is gearing up to implement a new retirement program, joining 15 other states with similar initiatives. The recently passed ESSB 6069 establishes “Washington Saves,” an automatic enrollment individual retirement savings program. Employees of covered employers will have the opportunity to contribute to an IRA through automatic payroll deductions, with enrollment being automatic but opt-out options available. Employers will have to register with Washington Saves and either participate or enroll employees in a retirement plan through associations.

The program aims to improve retirement security, building on the state’s existing small business retirement marketplace. A study by Pew Charitable Trusts recommended such automated savings programs, estimating significant participation and asset accumulation over time. The bill appropriates funds for implementation, with expectations of recouping costs in the long run.

Despite initial confusion with other state programs, the auto-enrollment retirement plan offers individuals the opportunity to save for their future independently. With details left to a governing board, the program is set to launch by July 1, 2027, potentially phasing in by employer size.

Learn more: WashingtonResearchCouncil.org


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