05.28.14 Money_CashCLACKAMAS, OR: With one in six Oregonians age 45-65 banking less than $5,000 in their retirement savings accounts, retirement security is a hot topic in Oregon right now! A recent DHM Research survey confirms the need and support for more options to save for retirement.

Nearly eight in ten (79%) working Oregonians strongly or somewhat support a state-run retirement savings plan to help the thousands of workers who don’t have access to a retirement savings program at their workplace, according to the survey.

In March of 2014, a DHM asked 450 Oregonians their opinions on some hot issues, including support for a state-run retirement savings plan. Only 17%, or one in five, said they would either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose the plan. Elected officials should be especially interested in the widespread support for a state-run savings plan. When asked if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “Elected officials should support creating a state-run savings plan so residents can save for retirement,” seven in ten (72%) respondents said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed.

“Boomers who are behind on retirement savings shouldn’t feel alone – the system changed like sand beneath their feet,” said Joyce DeMonnin, AARP Oregon Director for Public Outreach. “With changing times, job market and uncertain economic times, individuals without retirement savings at work have been left out in the cold. More can be done to help all Oregonians save.”

When provided with a list of six features that have been proposed, respondents cited portability (85%) and low cost to tax payers (77%), as two of the features with the highest “very important” ratings. Other features that were suggested include: ease of contributions through direct deposit from employee paychecks (63% very important, and 30% somewhat important); low cost to participants (58% very important, 33% somewhat important); professionally managed (69% very important, 21% somewhat important); and accessible to everyone in the state (68% very important, 22% somewhat important).

DHM Research asked Oregonians whether they would support or oppose the proposed retirement savings plan if it was designed like a college savings plan (529 plan). Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they would “strongly” or “somewhat” support this idea.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Oregonians to find new ways to save for retirement. With fewer people making a career in one company, we need fresh ideas to solve 21st century problems,” concluded DeMonnin.

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