Employer Responsibilities under the OregonSaves Legislation
In 2015, Oregon passed new legislation that created a state-run retirement program designed to allow all Oregon employees to save through their employer. The new law—ORS 178.200-178.245— created OregonSaves, a state-run retirement program that is designed to allow all employees to save money through their employer because studies show that employees are more likely to save when it can be done through their employer. OregonSaves creates and holds IRA accounts for employees of businesses who do not offer their own employer-run retirement plan. The legislation has these registration deadlines for businesses:
By May 15, 2019, all businesses that: a) do not offer their own employer-established retirement plan, and b) have ten or more employees, are required to register to facilitate OregonSaves. By May 15, 2020, all businesses, even those without employees, are required to be registered for OregonSaves.
A business might also receive a state notice to register for OregonSaves. In that event, employers must either: a) register for OregonSaves within 30 days, or b) certify to the state that the business offers its own retirement plan. If a business has not registered within 30 days after receiving notice from the state, the business should do as soon as possible. It is unlawful to fail to register or else to certify an exemption, with the possibility of fines.
Following registration, employers must relay all of their employees’ contact information to the state so the state may inform the employees about the OregonSaves program. After that, employers should follow OregonSaves’ directives regarding recordkeeping, payroll deductions, and payments to OregonSaves on behalf of the employees. OregonSaves puts the money in each employee’s IRA account. The default percentage to be withheld is 5% of gross earnings, but the employee can change that.
Employers are not required to contribute anything to their employees’ retirement account nor are they liable for employee investment decisions. The OregonSaves website provides guides and templates to create a simple and streamlined process.
Employers can register for OregonSaves at www.oregonsaves.com. Employers can go to https://employer.oregonsaves.com/home/employers/resources.html for more resources.