Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT)

Effective January 1, 2024, Maine has mandated a retirement plan opportunity for Maine employees, introduced as the Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT). Employers should expect to receive notification from the program in early 2024 with information on registration and compliance.

What is MERIT?

The Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT) is a program that requires Maine employers to facilitate retirement savings for their employees. The program is a payroll deducted and Roth IRA owned by the employee. Employers’ roles are limited to automatically enrolling employees, withholding, and remitting employees contributions. Employees can opt out of participation at any time or are otherwise mandated to participate. Payroll deducted contributions being at 5% of a covered employee’s wage, increasing 1% per year up to 10%. Employers are neither required nor allowed to match employee contributions or make employer funded contributions to these accounts. All monies contributed must be withheld from the employees’ pay.

Who must participate?

All Maine businesses are required to register with MERIT, however, an exemption from participation exists for a business that offers a qualified retirement plan. Qualified retirement plans include 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), SIMPLE IRA, and SEP IRA.

When is the program effective?

Employers with more than 15 employees must register for the program and begin participating no later than April 30, 2024. Employers with more than 5 employees must register for the program no later than June 30, 2024. Organizations not in compliance by December 31, 2024, will be subject to penalties beginning in 2025.

Who is a covered employee?

A covered employee is anyone over age 18, who earns a wage in Maine. This includes part-time employees and seasonal employees working more than 120 days a year.

You may contact the State of Maine at for more information.