The Oregon Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday creating a board to set up a retirement savings plan for private-sector workers in the state who are not offered a retirement plan by their employers, said Michael Cox, spokesman for Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler.
The bill, which now goes to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature, sets up the Oregon Retirement Savings Fund Board. The board will be chaired by Mr. Wheeler and also will include legislators, investors such as money managers, employers, workers and retirees.
Under the legislation, the plan must be voluntary and easily accessible. Accounts must be portable and funds must be pooled and professionally overseen by a private-sector plan administrator. Participants will be enrolled automatically with the right to opt out. The board would set the default contribution rate. The plan would offer default escalation of contribution levels and would not require employer contributions.
Under the plan, businesses would not be exposed to fiduciary liability, the state would not guarantee returns and the state would not be liable for investment losses. The plan would be self-sustaining, funded through account fees and the capital in the plan cannot be accessed by the Legislature.
“Far from being a burden on small businesses, the Retirement Security Bill provides an attractive option to small business owners who would like to offer their employees a retirement plan, but cannot because of cost and administrative hassle,” Mr. Wheeler said in a news release.
The bill has not yet reached Ms. Brown’s desk, said Melissa Navas, a press secretary for Ms. Brown, in an e-mail. “The governor will review it once it reaches her desk,” she said.