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The State Retirement Mandate Alternative: A Ubiquity Small Business 401(k)

Empower your future with an affordable, customized retirement solution.

  • A maximum contribution amount of $20,500 (more than 3x higher than the most common state-provided IRA)
  • An additional annual employer contribution limit of $40,500 (not available with most state-run solutions)
  • Transparent, flat fees that don't change with your account balance (while state-run IRA's asset-based fees grow with your savings)
  • Receive up to $16,500 in tax credits over three years when you open a 401(k).*

    (*Up to $5,000 per year, plus an additional $500 per year for automatic enrollment for the first 3 years)

Empower your future with an affordable, customized retirement solution.

We’ve spent 20 years dedicated to small business retirement success. Call 866.634.6116 or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

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Why do we need state-run retirement plans?

55 million American workers— more than 40% of full-time private-sector employees— don’t have access to a retirement savings plan.

In an age where pensions are rapidly disappearing and the Social Security system is deeply strained, this gap in coverage jeopardizes the financial futures of a huge chunk of the country, and it disproportionally affects workers at small businesses. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, only 22% of employees at workplaces with 10 or fewer workers had access to a retirement plan, in comparison to 74% of employees at companies with over 500 employees.

Why have retirement benefits been such an obstacle for small businesses?

Traditionally, 401(k) plans have been designed for the budgets and administrative load of large businesses. These complicated and expensive plans provided by the traditional retirement marketplace overlooked the small business plan market entirely.

In recent years, web-based 401(k) plans that are affordable to businesses of all shapes and sizes have begun to spring up. Some of these plans have low monthly fees and no asset fees, and employers have the option to split costs with their employees, much like group health insurance plans.

Still, these pervasive 401(k) myths exist. According to the 2018 Millennium Trust Small Business Retirement Survey, 45% of business owners not offering a retirement plan had not even researched looking into one. The assumption by these business owners was often that plans were too expensive or that their employees didn’t really care about having access to one.

Most Common State Provided IRA plan

Ubiquity Small Business 401(k) plan

Maximum employee annual contribution amount



Additional annual employer contribution limit

Not offered

Yes, up to an additional $40,500

Flat fees that don’t increase with your account balance

No, asset-based fees

Yes, flat fees

$500 credit to offset setup costs



Flexible vesting schedules



Investment guidance based on individual risk tolerance



What states have passed retirement legislation?

In an attempt to help the workforce save for retirement, state governments have stepped up to the plate. Since 2012, 30 states have introduced some form of retirement legislation.

So far, 10 states have enacted a government-sponsored retirement savings program: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. But not everyone is tackling the issue of the retirement crisis the same way. The intention of the state retirement mandates is to level the playing field so that everyone has a more equal footing.

While all the state legislation focuses on retirement readiness and financial security, how each state goes about it can vary.

Mandatory Individual Retirement Accounts

In California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and the city of Seattle, governments are attempting to close the savings gap by mandating a retirement savings vehicle for private-sector employees who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan.

Businesses in these states have two options: offer an eligible retirement plan from a private provider or enroll in the state run retirement option. Once a business is enrolled, employees who do not opt-out of the program automatically will be enrolled in a payroll deduct Roth individual retirement account, aka Roth IRA.

In these state-run auto-IRAs, retirement contributions come directly out of worker’s paychecks. These employees are able to save up to the IRA maximum contribution limit of $6,000 per year (with an additional $1000 in catch-up contributions if they are 50 or older). The default contribution rate varies from state to state but usually starts at a default rate of between 3-5% of the employee’s income withheld from each paycheck and deposited into the account. Employees have the right to adjust or cancel that contribution at any time.

How does a state-mandated IRA compare with a small business 401(k) plan?

While saving for retirement is always the end goal, not all savings vehicles are created equally. Across the board, 401(k) plans allow both business owners and their employees to contribute more each year towards their future, while gaining greater tax benefits than saving in an IRA.

If you’re a small business owner in Oregon, Illinois, or California, we’ve broken exactly how your state’s plan stacks up against a Ubiquity 401(k) plan.

Voluntary Payroll Deduct IRAs

New York’s program works similarly to the mandatory, state-sponsored IRA plans above. The New York Secure Choice Savings Program provides New York business owners who don’t currently offer a retirement plan the option to offer an auto-IRA, but does not set it as a requirement.

Open Multiple Employer Plans

Vermont and Massachusetts have chosen through a voluntary multiple employer plan system (also known as an MEP). MEPs allow businesses to band together and offer a 401(k) plan to their employees with less of the financial, administrative, and compliance burden of running their own plans.

The State Retirement Marketplace Approach

The state of Washington a different route in helping their citizens save for the future. It has set up retirement marketplaces designed to bring together business owners and private retirement plan providers. The marketplace offers a variety of IRA, 401(k), and profit-sharing products for employers to choose from.

Choose a better path to savings

Want to know more about your state’s retirement plan versus Ubiquity? We’ve got experts that have your back. Call us today at 855.912.6904 or email us at sales@myubiquity.com

© 2022 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
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Do not sell my info
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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© 2022 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
Privacy Policy
Do not sell my info
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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