Maine: Final Regulations for Mandatory Retirement Savings Program


Private Employers with 5+ Employees in ME


January 1, 2024


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Quick Look

  • Covered employers who do not offer a retirement savings plan must participate in the state-run mandatory requirement program.
  • Employers with 15+ employees must register by April 30, 2024.
  • Employers with 5+ employees must register by June 30, 2024.


In 2021, An Act to Promote Individual Retirement Savings through a Public-Private Partnership, was enacted to implement a state-run mandatory retirement program, the Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT). In 2023, the time for employers to register for MERIT was extended and a final rule was issued.

Covered employers who do not offer a retirement savings plan must automatically enroll employees in MERIT. Employees can adjust their contribution or opt out of enrollment. Employers facilitate payroll deductions of 5% of employee paychecks, which will be contributed to a Roth IRA. The IRA follows employees from job to job. Employers are not required to contribute to the plan.

A covered employer has 5 or more covered employees and has been in business during both the current and preceding calendar years. Covered employees are 18 or older who have taxable wages in Maine during a calendar year. This includes part-time and temporary employees, and seasonal employees who work more than 120 days.

  • Covered employers with 15 or more covered employees must register with the program by April 30, 2024.
  • Covered employers with five or more covered employees must register with the program by June 30, 2024.
  • After December 31, 2024, employers must register within 12 months of becoming covered employers.
  • After initial registration, new Covered Employees must be registered with the program by the individual’s 120th day of employment.

Covered employees who have participated in MERIT for at least six months will have their contributions automatically increased by 1% of their wages at the beginning of each subsequent calendar year, up to a maximum of 10%, unless they opt out of the automatic increases. Beginning in 2025, failure to register as required results in a $20 penalty per covered employee. Exempt employers must register in the portal and certify their exemption. Employees may still voluntarily elect to participate in MERIT.

Action Items

  1. Review the MERIT Saves website and register in the MERIT portal.
  2. Update payroll processes with required contributions.
  3. Implement automatic enrollment procedures for new hires.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2024 ManagEase