Free employer webinar on Delaware EARNS program set July 17

State-sponsored initiative helps promote saving for retirement
July 5, 2024

Employer registration opened July 1 for the First State’s new retirement savings program, Delaware EARNS. All Delaware employers who have five or more W-2 employees and do not offer a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), must either register for Delaware EARNS or certify for exemption by Oct. 15, 2024, as required by state law.

Delaware EARNS is a new retirement savings program sponsored by the Office of the State Treasurer. It was created to help bridge the state’s retirement savings gap. The Office of the State Treasurer will host a free webinar from 12 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 17, to help Delaware employers learn more about this program, understand next steps for registering and get answers to their questions.

Employers that want to get a head start on offering access to a competitive retirement benefit before the mid-October deadline can start now at For employers, there is no cost for facilitating the EARNS program and no plan-sponsor liability. Employers can be exempt if they offer a qualified retirement plan, have fewer than five employees, or have been in business less than six months.

“Since I came into office, I’ve been committed to improving the financial empowerment and resilience of all Delawareans, especially historically underserved populations. Delaware EARNS gives us a path to do just that – advance empowerment and resilience for workers throughout our state,” said State Treasurer Colleen C. Davis. “This innovative program also benefits our small businesses by allowing them to give employees access to retirement savings at no cost to employers.”

Before opening statewide, Delaware EARNS was tested in a successful pilot program involving 12 employers from across the state, including My Sister’s Fault, a Puerto Rican-themed bakery with locations in Milford and Seaford.

“EARNS is an important step forward,” said Angie Robles, co-owner of My Sister’s Fault. “It offers small business owners and their employees a chance to be able to save money for their retirement. The way it’s going to help our employees is that it’s going to give them a level of confidence that when they do get to retirement, they will have money set aside that they can count on. Delaware EARNS is a very positive addition to our business and any small business. We’ll now have a more level playing field with larger employers because we can offer access to a state-sponsored retirement program.”

Vestwell State Savings is the program administrator for Delaware EARNS as well as similar programs in several other states, including Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

“The Delaware EARNS pilot program gained early momentum during the spring. We anticipate the success of this program to continue now that it is available to all eligible Delaware businesses,” said Douglas Magnolia, Vestwell State Savings president. “As partners of Delaware EARNS, Vestwell values our shared commitment to expanding access to retirement savings and helping close the savings gap for workers in the First State.”

Vestwell is also program administrator for Colorado, Maine and Vermont, Delaware’s partner states. These four states are collaborating through the Partnership for a Dignified Retirement, an interstate consortium that shares best practices and offers economies of scale to state-sponsored IRA programs.

For more information about Delaware EARNS, visit or email


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