Oklahoma lawmakers have begun the process of establishing a statewide program requiring most employers without a workplace retirement plan to offer one to employees, according to legislation posted on the Oklahoma State Legislature website.
Both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature introduced bills Feb. 1 to create the Oklahoma Prosperity Act Program, a state-mandated retirement plan that employers with at least 10 workers and in business for at least two years would have to make available to their workers. The legislation was introduced in the House by state Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant, and in the Senate by state Sen. John Montgomery, R-Lawton.
The statewide retirement plan envisioned under the legislation is structured as an automatic-enrollment payroll-deduction individual retirement account, according to the legislation.
Under the proposal, employees would be automatically enrolled in the program at a default contribution rate of 3%. Employees would be able to opt out of the plan.
The legislation also stipulates that the program would be administered by a six-member board that would conduct at least a biennial review of investment vendors.
"Other states that have implemented auto-IRA programs have been successful in helping residents save for retirement and in promoting wealth for families," Mr. Montgomery said in an email. "This strategy is more cost effective for government than alternatives like increased tax credits."
Oklahoma joins a slew of other states that have introduced legislation to launch similar programs, including Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Twelve states, plus Seattle, have authorized programs in place.