State Plan for Employees Launched July 2017
OregonSaves, a state-run retirement program for employees of businesses who do not currently offer a retirement savings plan, officially launched in July when 11 employers selected for the first pilot program began payroll deductions for participating employees.
Attention hospitality industry: at the end of July, employers with 100 or more employees can expect to receive their first notice about the program from the State and have until November 15, 2017 to register with the program. The notice from the state will include instructions on how and when to complete the registration process.
In 2015, the Oregon Legislative Assembly enacted legislation, which created the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. House Bill 2960 tasked the Board with the establishment and oversight of a state-run retirement savings program providing employees with a flexible opportunity to save through payroll deductions and the ease of getting started with automatic enrollment and annual contribution escalation.
The new public website for OregonSaves is now live at OregonSaves.com and includes general information about the program as well as specific information for savers at Saver.oregonsaves.com and for employers at Employer.oregonsaves.com.
The first pilot program has successfully completed the registration process for OregonSaves. Pilot employers get early access to the program, receive hands-on assistance through the process, and began payroll deductions for participating employees in July, after the 30-day enrollment period ends. Registration for the second pilot will begin in August with payroll deductions for those who participate to begin in October. The second pilot phase will help test the automation of the program for a wide variety of employers in terms of size and ways of doing business, helping prepare for the statewide launch.
Employers must collect (payroll deduction) and remit the payroll withholdings each pay period to the State. This will create additional paperwork for employers to deal with staff. There is no cost; the plan is funded into IRA's.
OregonSaves is scheduled to roll out in phases starting with larger employers. The registration deadlines for employers are as follows:
a. An employer employing 100 or more employees: November 15, 2017 (audit required)
b. An employer employing 50 to 99 employees: May 15, 2018
c. An employer employing 20 to 49 employees: December 15, 2018
d. An employer employing 10 to 19 employees: May 15, 2019
e. An employer employing 5 to 9 employees: November 15, 2019
f. An employer employing 4 or fewer employees: May 15, 2020
Employers with a deadline of November 15, 2017 can expect to receive notice about the program from the State starting in July. In October, they will receive another notice with instructions about how to either register with the program or certify their exemption from it. They will have until November 15, 2017 to complete the registration or certification process. Payroll deductions for employees of those businesses that register by the deadline will begin in January 2018.
The first stage of the rulemaking process is complete for OregonSaves. The first set of rules can be found at Oregon.gov/retire/Pages/Rules.aspx. A second stage of rulemaking that started in June will consider technical matters that are not in the first set of rules, such as the process for joint employment circumstances.
More information and a complete list of frequently asked questions for employers and employees can be found at Oregonsaves.com/home/overview/faqs.html. | ORLA
FAQ’s about OregonSaves
Is there a mandatory employer contribution?
No, OregonSaves does not allow employer contributions.
Is there a penalty for remitting payroll deductions late or not at all?
Yes, failure to timely remit deductions violates Oregon law, including wage and hour requirements. The State may impose penalties for deduction violations.
Can employees who participate in my qualified retirement plan also participate in the State's program?
No, not at this time. However, the State is considering how to provide this option for employees while keeping things simple for employers.
Do family members who work for my business count as employees?
Yes, if they are considered employees for tax purposes.
Do I need to facilitate the program if I only have one or a couple of employees?
Yes, all employers, no matter how many employees they have, need to facilitate the State's program for their employees if they don't offer a qualified retirement plan. Please note that very small employers will not be required to facilitate until the year 2020, and that OregonSaves is working with employers to consider how facilitation can be made as simple as possible.
If a business owner or shareholder is also an employee of the business, are they eligible to participate?
Yes, they can participate if they are considered employees for tax purposes.
If I have employees in multiple states, including Oregon, do I just facilitate the State's program for those employees in Oregon?
Yes, you would only need to facilitate the program for employees with income in Oregon.
If I only offer my qualified retirement plan to some employees but not all, do I have to offer the State's program as well?
No, if you offer a qualified retirement plan as defined in the OregonSaves statutes to any of your employees, you will file a certificate of exemption and you will not need to facilitate the State's program.
Is it mandatory that employers facilitate the State's program if they don't offer a qualified retirement plan?
Yes, any business with employees in Oregon that doesn’t offer a qualified retirement plan will need to facilitate the State’s program for its employees. Oregon is in the process of considering appropriate enforcement actions should such actions be needed to enforce the mandate.