Get answers to frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions for savers

Why does a program like this exist?

The retirement savings crisis is a serious problem here in Oregon and throughout the nation. In the absence of a nationwide retirement savings program, many states have begun considering state-based programs like OregonSaves. In Oregon, an estimated one million workers lacked access to a work-based retirement plan prior to OregonSaves. The retirement savings gap in America is estimated to be at least $28 trillion and OregonSaves provides Oregonians who fall in that gap with a clear means to save for their future.

The Oregon legislature created OregonSaves to improve people’s access and outcomes for retirement savings. The program is designed to lower barriers wherever possible, such as using automatic enrollment and savings through payroll contributions. Today, Oregon workers have saved more than $130 million towards their future. This means the state will have fewer people entering retirement in poverty and individuals will have more dignity and choice as they age.

Do employers have to facilitate this State program?

Yes, any business with employees in Oregon must facilitate the State’s program for its employees, unless it already offers a qualified, employer-sponsored retirement plan.

How is the OregonSaves program different from plans like a 401(k) or an IRA?

OregonSaves is designed to pull together some of the best features of popular employer plans and IRAs. We’re helping to lower barriers like complex administration and high costs that may prevent employers from offering a reliable retirement savings plan on their own to their employees. With OregonSaves, employers just have to facilitate the program–there are no costs and no fiduciary responsibility.

How does the OregonSaves program work?

OregonSaves provides a simple way to help you save for retirement. You can save through automatic payroll contributions if your employer is registered for the program, or you can sign yourself up and set up automatic contributions from your bank account. You contribute to a convenient and portable Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that moves right along with you as you change jobs. You are always in control of your account and your money.

How do I join OregonSaves?

If your employer facilitates OregonSaves, you don’t need to do anything—you will be automatically enrolled with the standard savings elections. If you would like to customize your savings options, you can log in to your account at any time. If you’re self-employed or don’t work for an employer registered with OregonSaves, you can sign yourself up and contribute directly to your IRA via automatic contributions from your bank account. Participation in OregonSaves is completely voluntary and you can opt out or back in when the time is right.

Do other states have programs like this?

Yes, similar programs are up and running in other states, including California, Connecticut, and Illinois. And many other states are about to launch state-sponsored retirement savings programs or are in the process of passing legislation to support them, including Colorado and New Mexico, among others.

Does this program replace 401(k)s?

No, this program is not meant to replace or compete with 401(k) or other qualified retirement plans. It is meant to help employers that don't have the time, money, or resources to offer a 401(k) plan.

Where can I find a copy of the program rules?

The OregonSaves program rules are posted here.