OregonSaves Wave Two (50 – 99 employees)
In mid-January, OregonSaves began sending employers with 50 – 99 employees in Oregon their first notice about the program in case they would like to register or claim exemption now, ahead of the May 15, 2018 registration deadline. For employers with an email address on file, the notice was sent by email. For all others, it was sent by regular mail. If an employer didn’t receive the notice and should have, they can reach out to the OregonSaves Client Services team at (844) 661-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Employers in wave two can expect another notice about the registration deadline in April.
OregonSaves is Now Open for Business Statewide
Due to the success of the pilot phase of the program, OregonSaves is now open to any employer of any size with employees in Oregon. The deadlines for employers to register remain the same, but employers do not need to wait for them to join the program and start facilitating savings for their employees. Later this month, OregonSaves will send a notice to every employer in Oregon with instructions about how to join early.
To date, more than 60 employers from later waves have seen the benefits of getting an early start and have already signed up. As Judi Randall, finance director at Douglas County Multi-Family Property Management Corp. in Roseburg, explained, “The process to get the program established was minimal, the OregonSaves software is easy to navigate, and the time and effort it took was worth the benefits the employees will gain from the program.”
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.
November 15, 2017 was the deadline for employers with 100 or more employees in Oregon to either register to facilitate OregonSaves or certify that they are exempt from the program. If an employer missed the deadline, they should reach out to the OregonSaves Client Service team at (844) 661-1256 or email@example.com.
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.
Employees in the pilot program of OregonSaves have already saved more than $146,000 since July. Approximately 72 percent of the nearly 2,500 eligible employees have chosen to stay in the program. Most employees are contributing the standard 5 percent of their gross pay. Currently, the average contribution rate is 4.7 percent, and the average contribution is approximately $57 per pay period.
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
Ten days before the next deadline, employers who have yet to respond will receive a reminder notice. Employers are encouraged to register or certify as soon as possible to avoid the rush at the end. If an employer needs assistance, they should reach out to the OregonSaves Client Service team at (844) 661-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employers who register to facilitate OregonSaves will have 30 days after registration to add all of their employees to the system. Once employees are added, the system sends them notice about the program. Employees then have 30 days to decide if they want to participate. After that 30-day period ends, employees who haven’t opted out will be automatically enrolled, and payroll deductions should begin on the first pay date afterward.
For example: Company A registers on Nov. 15. They need to enter their employees by Dec. 15. If they upload their employees on Dec. 15, their employees will have until Jan. 14 to decide if they want to participate. Company A will then begin payroll deductions on the next pay date after Jan. 14, such as Feb. 1 if they pay employees on the first day of the month.
The Oregon Retirement Savings Board has officially completed a second stage of rulemaking, which considered technical matters that were not in the first set of rules for OregonSaves, such as the process for employment services. The second stage of rulemaking began on June 14, 2017 and included three rulemaking advisory committee meetings. After holding a public rulemaking hearing on September 19, 2017 and considering input and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, the Board filed updated rules with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office on October 24, 2017. The updated rules have been posted on the Board’s website at Oregon.gov/retire/Pages/Rules.aspx.
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.