Get answers to frequently asked questions

Maine's new state-facilitated retirement savings program was created to help the nearly 940,000 workers in Maine without access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. We understand you’ll have questions. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, we’re here to help.

Will services be available in other languages?

Yes, the call center will offer assistance in English and Spanish, with access to translation services for other languages.

What steps are taken to keep my account safe from cyber threats?

MERIT has processes in place to protect the security of accounts and protect your personal information. Our program administrator utilizes reasonable security technologies to protect sensitive information in accordance with industry and regulatory standards, which may include encryption, two-factor authentication, and automatic logout after a specified period of inactivity.

Does MERIT protect the security of funds deposited into my account?

Yes, MERIT has processes in place to protect the security of contributions to your account. Our program administrator and their affiliates have dedicated security and compliance teams to implement encryption, strict internal protocols and training, and annual independent security audits. And they implement industry-standard account authentication and password protection procedures.

Is my personal information reported to government agencies to determine immigration status?

No, reports are not made for the purpose of determining immigration status.

What is a Roth IRA?

A Roth IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that helps you reduce your taxes once you retire. While you’re working, you pay your usual income tax on the money you earn and deposit it into your Roth IRA. Your Roth IRA earns money (interest and/or dividends), and that money is constantly added to your contributions. When you retire and start taking money out of your Roth IRA (like you’re paying yourself), there are no taxes. In other words, all the interest that your account earns over the years is tax-free. And that’s a big deal. For even more details on Roth IRAs you can visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

Why isn’t there a national program like this?

While Congress has not passed legislation for a nationwide program, several states, including Maine, are establishing their own retirement savings programs to help workers save now. 

Can the State use money from this program to fund other programs?

No. The money is yours, and only you can access your savings. Your assets are remitted directly to MERIT on your behalf and are credited directly to your account. The State cannot access your account for other purposes and your account is not tied to any other retirement plans offered by the State.

What if there are only a few employees at my workplace?

Employers must facilitate a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan if they have at least five W-2 employees who have worked for them for at least 120 days. If your employer is too small to meet the registration requirements, you can also open and contribute to your own retirement account with MERIT.