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Previous story Oregon retirement savings program offers national roadmap Next story
  Several states stepped into the policy vacuum, and one is Oregon’s automatic enrollment retirement savings program   OregonSaves suggests it might offer a roadmap for national policymakers  

Story by David Brancaccio, Chris Farrell, and Rose Conlon - Story Source
Published on Friday April 30, 2021 - 9:06 AM

By the end of 2020, the average 401(k) balance reached $121,500, 11% more than the previous quarter, according to Fidelity Investments. The rise, which reflects significant stock market gains last year, is good news for those who participate in the retirement savings plans.

But millions of private-sector workers aren't covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and they're disproportionately low-wage workers and those employed by smaller businesses.

"Only about half of private-sector employees work at companies that offer a retirement savings plan," said Marketplace senior economics contributor Chris Farrell. "It's true, they could open up an [individual retirement account] on their own, but most don't."

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have proposed tactics for increasing the number of people who save for retirement, no national solution has materialized. But several states, including Oregon, Illinois and California, have enacted their own automatic IRA programs, with several more states following suit in 2021.

And now new research about one of those state programs, OregonSaves, suggests it might offer a roadmap for national policymakers seeking to expand retirement savings among workers...