OregonSaves Retirement Plan

August 5, 2019 | by Heather McGowan, CPA

Man putting change into a jar

What is OregonSaves?

OregonSaves is a Roth IRA retirement savings program sponsored by the State of Oregon, facilitated by employers and funded by employee savings. OregonSaves helps employers who are not currently sponsoring a qualified retirement plan provide a retirement savings option to their employees. Oregon is  the first state to begin implementation of state legislation  to institute state-run programs for private-sector employers without a retirement plan. OregonSaves is an “opt-out” retirement plan.  This means that employees will be automatically enrolled when an employer registers for the program, but they may opt-out.

Effective Dates and Requirements

There are several effective dates when Oregon employers are required to offer the program to their employees. OregonSaves is taking a six-wave approach to rolling out the program, starting with large employers. Any employer that offers a qualified retirement savings plan will need to file for a Certificate of Exemption (CoE) on the OregonSaves website. Starting with wave three, the state will begin automatically exempting any employers with a retirement plan already in place, based on Form 5500 data. Employers do not need to take any action if they receive a notice informing them about the automatic exemption. Employers with retirement plans that do not receive an automatic exemption will still need to complete the exemption process online.

The dates that employers are required to register for OregonSaves or file a Certificate of Exemption are as follows:

  • Wave 1: Employers with 100+ employees – November 15, 2017
  • Wave 2: Employers with 50-99 employees – May 15, 2018
  • Wave 3: Employers with 20-49 employees – December 15, 2018
  • Wave 4: Employers with 10-19 employees – May 15, 2019
  • Wave 5: Employers with 5-9 employees – November 15, 2019
  • Wave 6: Employers with 4 or fewer employees – May 15, 2020

The state will notify employers directly when they are required to register. The notice will include instructions and due dates. Employers may register before they are notified of their deadline. Once notified of the requirement, employers will:

  • Register and add all participant data for eligible employees
  • Provide program information to all current and new employees
  • Manually enroll participants and begin payroll deductions for employees that do not opt-out of the program
  • Submit and track payroll contributions
  • Track and honor opt out requests

All employees, full and part-time, who have worked for the company for at least 60 days, are required to be auto-enrolled into the plan by the employer. Employers are not required to match any portion of their employees’ contributions to state plans through payroll deduction.

The state Treasurer’s office is responsible for the investment management of the funds contributed by employees.  Employees can select an investment strategy.  The investment choices include three options as follows:

  • Capital Preservation Fund (money market securities)
  • Target Retirement Funds (mix of stocks and bond funds that becomes more conservative over time)
  • Growth Fund (S & P 500 Index companies)

We are Here to Help

For more information about how these changes could affect you or your business, please contact your BCS professional.