Get answers to frequently asked questions

MERIT is a retirement savings program created for Maine's nearly 940,000 workers without access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Here are answers to many of the common things we’ve been asked. If you have questions beyond these, we’re here to help.

What do employees need to do after I enroll them?

Your employees will receive information directly from the MERIT program and can choose to stay automatically enrolled in MERIT or opt out; they have 30 days to decide after you add them to the program. If they stay enrolled, the payroll deductions that they elect and that you set up for them in your employer portal will start as soon as your next payroll. If they choose to opt out, they will be removed automatically from the program and can always rejoin later.

What if an employee already has a MERIT account through another employer?

Employees can contribute to their MERIT account through multiple employees. Simply provide basic information about the employee, and MERIT will use the information to direct new contributions to the employee’s existing account. 

What does automatic enrollment mean?

It means that if an employee takes no action during the 30 day opt-out window for the program, a Roth IRA will be opened in their name and will be listed as an active employee on your report to send payroll contributions. Employees who are automatically enrolled in the program will have the default contribution settings elected.

What if an employee asks me for advice about the program or its investment options?

You should not provide any advice about the program or investments. Your responsibility is to facilitate the program only. Instead, advise the employee to visit You could also suggest that the employee speak to a competent financial or tax advisor.

Do employees need to fill out paperwork to enroll or make changes?

Employees are enrolled automatically and do not need to fill out any paperwork. Once enrolled, employees can manage most account functions online. But, if needed, there are paper forms available for certain account changes; these forms can be downloaded, filled out, and sent in. Our customer service team is also available if your employees need any additional help or have other questions.

Program Forms

If I offer MERIT to my employees now and then decide to offer a qualified retirement plan later, what do I do?

Employers that choose to introduce a qualified retirement plan after enrolling employees in the MERIT program should contact our client services team at 1-833-608-8811 and request to “unregister.” We will begin the process of exempting your business from the program and adjusting your employees’ accounts as needed. You should communicate what is happening to your employees and inform participating employees that they can still access their MERIT account after you’ve exempted out of the program.

Which businesses are eligible to participate in MERIT?

You are eligible to participate in the MERIT Retirement Savings Program if:

  • Your business is registered to conduct business in the state of Maine

  • You have at least five W-2 employees

  • You have been in business for two or more years; and

  • You don’t currently offer a qualified retirement savings program to your employees

If your business already offers a qualified retirement plan to your employees, you are not eligible to participate in MERIT.

If I have employees in multiple states, including Maine, do I just facilitate the State's program for employees in Maine?

Yes, you would need to facilitate the program only for employees with income in Maine.

Are workers of only certain immigration statuses eligible for the program? What about undocumented workers?

Only workers with a verifiable Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security number (SSN) can participate in the program. If a worker's information cannot be verified, the worker will not be enrolled, and an account will not be established for him or her.