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One in six 45-64 year olds has less than $5K in savings

CLACKAMAS, OR — Oregon is facing a retirement crisis. A newly released survey from AARP Oregon shows that over half of all

Oregonians age 45-64 do not have retirement savings through an employer. What is even more shocking is that one in six Oregonians has less than $5,000 in a retirement savings account.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, the Joint Ways and Means Committee of the Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill 3436A, which would create a task force to study the feasibility of establishing a path to develop a responsible, sustainable recommendations for a retirement savings plan accessible to all working Oregonians. The bill, co-sponsored by Representative Jules Bailey of Portland and Senator Lee Beyer of Eugene—and supported by Governor John Kitzhaber and Treasurer Ted Wheeler—now moves to the House, where a floor vote is expected next week.

The study found that seven in 10 registered voters age 45-64 say it is important for legislators to study Oregonians’ retirement readiness. And, six in 10 support a plan to set up a state-run retirement savings plan.
“There is clearly a need for a solution to this pending crisis,” said Joyce DeMonnin, Interim State Director for AARP Oregon

. “Without access to a workplace savings plan, it is extremely difficult for people to save for retirement, especially low-income workers and people who take a break from employment for child rearing or caregiving. The current system isn’t working for too many Oregonians.”

Every dollar Oregon spends on safety net services for older adults who can’t afford basic living and medical expenses is a dollar we can’t spend on other essential services like education and public safety.
Two in three working Oregonians who are currently not offered a defined contribution plan say they would take advantage of a plan if offered. Making it easier for employees to save through a payroll deduction would help the thousands of Oregonians that do not currently have access to a retirement plan through their employer.

Oregonians want sensible solutions that will help them save for retirement. Top aspects of a savings plan are it is portable (87%), low cost to taxpayers and participants (76% respectively), and accessible to everyone in the state (75%).

The AARP Oregon Retirement Survey was conducted as a telephone survey among 45-64 year old registered voters in the state of Oregon, from May 17-22, 2013. The margin of error for the sample of 800 is +/-3.5%.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world’s largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
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