California, Illinois and Oregon are all actively rolling out state-run retirement plans that businesses can offer their employees without the expense of hiring a plan administrator and paying the many fees associated with running such plans. And now Oregon is leading the drive to convince other states to introduce similar programs.
The OregonSaves program mandates that, by May 2020, all businesses in the state offer some form of a retirement savings plan, whether private or run by the state.
“We want to do everything in Oregon to make sure that other states have this opportunity,” Michael Parker, executive director of the Oregon Savings Program, said.
So far, some 40 states have introduced legislation for state-sponsored plans, with 10 of them — along with the City of Seattle — already becoming operational. California, Illinois and Oregon are already enrolling employers –and employees — to get their plans under way.
Industry groups such as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors worry that the government plans will be in direct competition with private offerings, and are opposing state-run plans.
“This is [a] pretty major cultural shift that we are all setting out collectively to effectuate, and it’s going to take time,” said Katie Selenski, executive director of the Golden State’s CalSavers program. “We’re trying to reach double digits millions of people and really shift the paradigm of how people think about their financial lives both employers and employees.”