If you operate an Oregon business, you may have received a notice from the State of Oregon telling you that you may need to register for Oregon’s mandatory retirement savings program called OregonSaves. If you have not received that notice, you may receive one soon. These notices are the first step towards establishing a retirement savings program for your employees if you do not already have one in place.

OregonSaves is a retirement savings program sponsored by the state. While it is facilitated by employers to a limited degree, it is funded solely by employee investments through voluntary payroll deductions. The money that employees save through the program is put into a Roth IRA retirement account that is fully vested and portable if your employees change jobs. Federal IRA limitations apply to the program, but employees will have the choice of investment options, to change their contribution rates, or to opt out of the program entirely.

As an employer, you have some obligations to address in order to participate in the program. For businesses with 10 to 19 employees, the deadline to register for the OregonSaves program is May 15, 2019. November 15, 2019 is the registration deadline for companies with 4 or fewer employees. The deadline has passed for employers with 20 or more employees to register for the program, however, the Oregon legislature is only now discussing the establishment of monetary or other penalties for missing those deadlines.

If you already have an established an eligible employer-sponsored retirement savings program in place for your employees, you will be given the option to opt your business out of OregonSaves.

For companies that use an outside company for payroll processing, such as ADP or Paychex, they can assist you in the enrollment process for OregonSaves, for reporting eligible employees, and for addressing payroll deductions for those employees that participate. If your business does not use an outside service for payroll, you will be responsible for those actions yourself, or you can designate certain other representatives to address this for your company. The enrollment process is available online, and once you have included employee information, you will be given information to provide to your employees, and they will have the option to opt-out of the program or to make adjustments to their savings rates and investment choices. Once the system is established, it is the responsibility of employees to keep their information updated with OregonSaves.

There are no fees to employers to register or participate in OregonSaves, and the employer is not required to match or provide any contributions to the accounts of employees (OregonSaves does not even facilitate a program with employer contributions).

Participation in OregonSaves is mandatory if your company does not already have an employer-sponsored retirement program for employees. There are additional requirements to the program, and you may encounter different questions regarding employer requirements and employee eligibility. Our office is available to assist you in addressing this requirement, or you can work with any outside payroll processing company that you use in order to enroll your employees and administer this program.