Oregon’s New Mandatory Access to Retirement Savings Programs

While most large employers maintain some form of retirement plan for their employees for any number of reasons, including competitive pressure, there are an estimated 1 million workers not covered by any such plan. As a result, Oregon recently became the first state to impose a requirement that all employers with Oregon workers provide easy access to some form of retirement savings program.

Under the Oregon Savings Program, employers must provide employees with access to the state’s program which calls for an automatic ROTH IRA payroll deduction unless the employer files a certificate substantiating that it provides an acceptable alternative retirement plan or the employee opts out.

Important Dates & Deadlines
This program is phased-in and first applies to large employers (those with 100 or more employees) and requires such employers to file their certificates of exemption or enroll in the program on-line by November 15, 2017.

The deadlines for smaller employers are spread over the next two years.

We are told that most of the organizations that the state believes to be “large employers” have been advised about this program and the process to be followed to secure the three-year exemption from the rules. However, we have heard some recipients of this notice assumed that other more appropriate personnel within the company were also advised so the need for action was ignored. Others have said that they did not realize that an affirmative claim of exemption was required by the above deadline.

If you have questions about the program or your obligations to take action by Nov. 15, 2017, please contact our tax and employee benefits partner Robert K. Winger.