This State Leads In Helping Workers Save For Retirement

First-time savers continue to join the simple, first-in-the-nation program.

By Ellen Carroll

A retirement savings plan for Oregon’s private sector workers whose employers don’t offer plans has reached a major milestone.

As of April 2, the plan reached $100 million in assets. It was the first state-run retirement savings program for private-sector workers in the country when it was launched in 2017. Through the program employees contribute part of their paycheck into their own personal IRAs. The law mandates private-sector employers offer the state retirement savings plan if they don’t sponsor a company plan.

“OregonSaves started with the idea that everyone should have an easy way to save for their retirement at work,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “It is gratifying to see the program grow, and to know that more than a 100,000 Oregonians are giving themselves more choices and a stronger financial foundation for their future.”

Participation continues to exceed projections, with seven in 10 workers remaining in the program rather than opting out. Workers save an average of about $135 a month — a higher rate than initially anticipated.

Before OregonSaves was launched, about a million workers in the state lacked access to a work-based retirement plan. The program is in the later stages of a statewide rollout.

OregonSaves is administered via a public-private partnership. According to an AARP study, over time it will help to reduce government costs by millions.

Today, 11 states are at various stages of implementing similar programs and another 23 states have introduced legislation to create them. For more information about OregonSaves, visit or call 844-661-6777.

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