OregonSaves Program Moves Forward Without ERISA Exemption

Oregon's state-run retirement program for private-sector employees will be rolled out July 1.

Passed in 2015, the OregonSaves program, a state-run retirement plan for private-sector workers is set to go live in July.

The program requires employers in the state that do not already offer a retirement savings plan to employees to automatically enroll employees in the OregonSaves program at 5% of pay. Employees are able to opt out or choose a different savings rate. Employers are not required to make contributions.

Employee deferrals will be increased 1% annually up to 10% of pay. Employers do not have to do anything except remit employee information and deferrals to the program.

According to the OregonSaves website, one million employees in the state, more than half the workforce, do not have the option to save for retirement through an employer-sponsored plan.

Just as there have been media reports that California will continue with its state-run retirement plan for private-sector workers despite the Trump administration taking away exemption from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read issued a statement saying the administration’s action “will not halt our commitment to working Oregonians.”

The program will rollout July 1 for large employers that have volunteered to participate, and the rollout will continue in phases. This is similar to the implementation of the California Secure Choice program.