This column is sponsored by the Lower Columbia Human Resource Management Association. LCHRMA represents a gathering of Human Resources professionals. Join us each month for a luncheon and training that covers many aspects of employment law and human resources.
Wednesday Dec. 5: (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
“Benchmarking Your Retirement Plan,” Ken Jackson, Pentegra (www.pentegra.com), Fort George Brewery, 1483 Duane St., Astoria
Register online. www.lchrma.org
HR Questions and Answers
“Growing old is not a choice. We all grow old. The best time to start thinking about retirement is before the boss does. And you know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.”
— George Burns
Q. What is the new retirement program initiated by the State of Oregon and known as OregonSaves?
A. A few years ago, the Oregon Legislature determined that less than half of all Oregon businesses offered a retirement plan to their employees. As a result, the legislature passed the program known as OregonSaves. It is a new way for Oregonians to save for retirement. Workers contribute part of their paycheck into their own personal Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account) that stays with them throughout their careers. The program also benefits employers who don’t offer a qualified retirement plan by helping them compete with businesses that do. The program is overseen by the Oregon Retirement Savings Board and administered by a program service provider.
Q. What is the timeline for implementation of OregonSaves?
A. Registration deadlines for employers:
• An employer employing 100 or more employees: Nov. 15, 2017
• An employer employing 50 to 99 employees: May 15, 2018
• An employer employing 20 to 49 employees: Dec. 15, 2018
• An employer employing 10 to 19 employees: May 15, 2019
• An employer employing 5 to 9 employees: Nov. 15, 2019
• An employer employing 4 or fewer employees: May 15, 2020
The state will notify employers directly when they will be required to register or certify that they are exempt from the program. Notice will include instructions and due dates.
Q. Are there any exemptions from registration for certain industries?
A. No. Exemptions from program facilitation are based on whether an employer offers an employer-sponsored retirement plan and not on any other criteria.
Q. Can a company join the program before its required registration date?
A. Yes. Required registration dates are ‘comply by’ dates. Beginning in October 2017, employers could have initiated contact with OregonSaves to begin facilitating the program or to certify their exemption.
Q. How will I know when I have to register for the program and enroll my employees?
A. The OregonSaves program deadlines are set forth in the OregonSaves rules (OAR 170-200) and will be communicated broadly throughout the State using a variety of means. OregonSaves is taking a phased approach to rolling out the program, starting with larger employers. The State will work to contact employers by phase to advise them that they must register for the program and by what date they must enroll participating employees. Regardless of these efforts, employers are responsible for taking action within the program deadlines associated with OregonSaves for businesses of their size.
Disclaimer: No response to the above queries is intended as legal advice. The answers are general answers based on general questions. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.