Oregon Legislature Considers how to Help Oregonians Save for Retirement

HB 3436, passed by the House of Representatives yesterday, June 24, proposes the creation of an Oregon Retirement Savings Investment Board. This Board would bring together key players to study the issue of retirement security and develop solutions. It would include representatives from the financial services industry, employers, the public, and the State Treasurer. The board would recommend a plan to the 2015 Legislature after studying the issue through 2013 and 2014.

Neighborhood Partnerships knows there are things we can do to help low-income Oregonians save for their future. Our experiences with the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative, which helps low income Oregonians save for the purchase of assets, has shown us that people with low and moderate incomes can save for emergencies, for their future or for retirement. Even savings of as little as $25 a month can make a big difference in helping people make ends meet during retirement.

The Oregon IDA Initiative helps people save for the purchase of a home, a small business, or education, and provides them with financial education to help them meet their goals. Our external evaluation conducted by Portland State University shows that upon exit from the program two-thirds of participants have developed strong saving habits and over 70% are keeping a budget to manage expenses. A significant percentage of participants continue to use a budget and save for the future a year after completing the program. As this shows, with the right combinations of support and opportunity, people with very low incomes can save for their future.

In order for the bill to continue to move forward in the legislature, State Senators need to hear from people who support this bill! Contact your Senator today and let them know why you or your organization supports this bill. You may want to mention the following:

  • Today, nearly half of Oregonians aged 25-64 are not covered by a retirement plan at work. As a result, many are at risk of living in poverty when they retire – unable to cover basic living and medical expenses. We know that social security income alone is not enough. The average social security payment for retired workers is $12,860 a year. That’s not enough to make ends meet – in fact, in no county in Oregon is that enough to afford a one-bedroom apartment at the average rent.
  • Hardworking Oregonians need help to create a secure retirement for themselves and their families. Together, we can help Oregonians with low and moderate incomes save for retirement and access the right financial products to help them save.
  • We need to empower Oregonians to build pathways to overall financial wellness throughout their lives – including successful, planned retirements.
  • HB 3436 is the first step toward developing a solution that provides a secure retirement for all working Oregonians.

We can find solutions that help our seniors live securely in the communities they helped to build. HB 3436 is a first step to help more Oregonians save for retirement. If you have questions about HB 3436, let us know.