WASHINGTON:  U.S. Senate looks at Oregon Saves

WASHINGTON: U.S. Senate looks at Oregon Saves

The U.S. Senate is taking a look at Oregon’s program to increase retirement savings. Oregon Saves gives businesses that don’t offer retirement savings programs a way for employees to direct money into individual retirement accounts.

“Already, 10s of thousands of Oregon workers are saving,” Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read told the Senate Finance Committee. “We’ve eclipsed $19 million in savings in less than two years.”

Oregon Saves automatically deducts five percent of a salary and sends it into the individual’s IRA. It’s voluntary for employees, and employers are required to offer the option.

Read is hoping that Congress will change federal law so that workers who are as young as 16 could participate. At present, participation is legal for 18 or 21-year-old workers, depending on the state.

“We’d sure like the idea of getting them in the habit for saving from the beginning of their career,” Read said.