On October 21, 2021, New York State Governor Hochul signed legislation (S.5395A/A.3213A) requiring employees to be automatically signed up for New York’s retirement saving plan which is called the New York State Secure Choice Savings Program.

The law went into effect immediately and is mandatory for all employers who have had at least 10 in-state employees in the past year, have been in operation for at least two years, and do not already offer a workplace retirement plan. Employees are able to opt out if they do not want to participate.

The New York General Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill on May 11 and the New York State Senate approved it on June 7. Mayor de Blasio signed similar legislation, “Retirement Security for All” on May 11 that covers New York City employers with five or more employees.

“Part of ensuring that New Yorkers are financially stable is guaranteeing they have a reliable retirement plan,” Hochul said after signing the bill. “This legislation allows all workers to have a sense of relief and security when it comes to retirement.”

Other states, including California, Illinois and Oregon already have successful similar programs with over $333 million in assets.

Before the New York law was signed, more than half of New York’s private-sector workers did not have access to any retirement savings options offered by their employer. Now up to 2.5 million more workers will be able to save for retirement.