Program details for savers

MERIT can help you save for your future

The Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT) can help you save for retirement through automatic payroll contributions to your own Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Setting up an account is easy, and you can decide how much to save.

There are two ways to participate in the MERIT program


Save through your employer

If your employer participates in MERIT, you can choose to:

  • Do nothing and save automatically. Your employer will add you to the program. If you choose to do nothing, after 30 days you will be enrolled automatically with the default savings and investment options. The default savings rate is 5% of your gross pay, and that amount is deducted from your paycheck after taxes have been taken out.

  • Customize your account. You can choose to customize your contribution amounts, investment options, and beneficiaries. Once enrolled, you’ll start saving a percentage of your paycheck automatically in your own retirement savings account — a Roth IRA.


Save on your own

If you’re self-employed or don’t work for an employer registered with MERIT, you can contribute directly to your own Roth IRA account. It’s easy and takes only a few minutes to get started:

  • Create an account. You’ll just need your Social Security number, date of birth, and residential address.

  • Customize your savings choices. Set up automatic contributions from your bank account to your MERIT account, or choose the initial minimum contribution and select your investment options. Learn more about contribution limits.

Sign up now

Program eligibility

You’re eligible for an account if:

  • You are at least 18 years old

  • You have earned taxable wages from a Maine employer for at least 120 days

Deciding what to save

How much to save is your choice. You’ll have the flexibility to choose the savings rate and investment options that feel most comfortable to you. Need help? You can find a number of resources and tools designed to help you determine what investments are right for you.

See resources

Retirement savings calculator

You can also use our retirement savings calculator to experiment with different savings rates and see what fits your budget.

Go to calculator

What to expect when you’re enrolled

If you were added by your employer and chose not to make changes to your account, after the 30-day opt out period you’ll be automatically enrolled with the default savings and investment elections:

  • 5% of your gross income earned with your facilitating employer will be contributed to your account after taxes have been taken out.

  • When you enroll, your funds will be invested in our Capital Preservation option until 30 days have passed after your initial contribution. The Capital Preservation option offers very low levels of risk and helps protect funds from fluctuations in value. After 30 days, your funds will be exchanged automatically to a default Target Retirement Date option based on your date of birth.

Prefer to opt out?

Participation in MERIT is completely voluntary. You can opt out or re-enroll in the program whenever you’re ready.

Opt out

See how your contributions can add up

Discover how your contributions to a MERIT account can add up over time and help you save for your future.

Learn more about contributions

Can I save less than 5% or opt out?

Yes, anytime! If trying a lower savings rate doesn’t work for you, you can opt out of participating in MERIT online, by phone, or mailing in this form. If you opt out before the end of the 30-day notification period, no payroll deductions will be made on your behalf and your account will not be activated. If you opt out after 30 days, your employer will be notified to stop your payroll deductions, and any deductions that may have been made can be withdrawn. You can always rejoin the program and begin contributing to your account at any time by accessing your account online or by contacting our Client Service Team.

What does the program cost me?

MERIT has an annual asset-based fee of approximately 0.32%. This means you will pay approximately $0.32 for every $100 in your account. There is also a $22 annual account fee (that is charged quarterly at $5.50 each quarter). These fees pay for the administration of the program and the operating expenses charged by the underlying investment funds in which the program’s portfolios are invested.

How to customize your account

Once you have set up your MERIT account, you’ll have the power to:

  • Change your contribution rate

  • Change your investment choices

  • Designate beneficiaries (who will inherit your IRA in the event of your passing)

  • Manage your personal information

  • Make withdrawals

Still have questions?

We’ve got answers in our FAQs.

Read the FAQs for savers