Input Sought From Oregon Employers to Design New Retirement Savings Plan

SALEM – When it launches in mid-2017, the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses.

To help design the plan, input is being sought from employers statewide.

“This is an opportunity to help shape the best possible plan for employers and workers, and help every Oregonian build toward a more secure future,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board.

The current opportunity to engage is an online survey, which can be found here.
In addition, a sampling of employers and sole proprietors who volunteer will participate in a wide-ranging interview with researchers from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

The survey is targeted toward employers who do not offer their own workplace retirement plans, and gathers information about why they don’t currently offer a plan, such as cost or complexity. Owners and any workers at those businesses are expected to be able to participate in the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan.

The deadline for responses to the survey is April 28.

The Center for Retirement Research of Boston College has worked with other states on similar programs and is performing the required market analysis and feasibility study for the Oregon plan.

Businesses also are invited to help guide the construction and rulemaking for the new plan by engaging with the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, which holds public meetings, and by participating in working groups that are considering plan design, program design, financial literacy and outreach opportunities. Learn more at

Today, roughly half of Oregon workers do not have access to an option to save for retirement through their employer, even though research says people are most likely to save and will save more when that opportunity is available.

The plan will offer Oregonians a worry-free way to save for retirement. In addition, employers that currently don’t offer plans to employees – many of them small businesses — will benefit because the state-administered plan will offer a simple and convenient path to help their workers start saving. The plan will impose no fiduciary risk to employers, and their clerical responsibilities will be kept low.

All Oregonians will benefit when more people save, because it will reduce the pressure on already strained, taxpayer-funded safety net programs.

Retirement savings rates are lower among women, minorities and people with a high school education level or less. Insufficient retirement savings can force tough sacrifices, such as skimping on food, housing and health care.

Approved by the 2015 Legislature, the envisioned Oregon plan will not be a pension, will not be connected in any way to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, and will not offer any matching funds or any guarantee of performance by the state or employers.

The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.