Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans for the People: Choices and Outcomes in OregonSaves

28 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by John Chalmers

John Chalmers

University of Oregon

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Pension Research Council; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jonathan Reuter

Boston College - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mingli Zhong

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

Date Written: July 21, 2020

Abstract

Insuring retirement security is an important challenge for our aging society, and many policymakers are seeking ways to help individuals save more for retirement. The state of Oregon recently launched an auto-enrollment retirement savings program for private sector workers who lack access to workplace retirement plans; many of these workers are lower-paid employees working at smaller firms. Our paper investigates early results from the OregonSaves program using data through June 2019. We find that OregonSaves is serving firms across many industries, including food services, health care, retail trade, and agriculture. In June 2019, approximately 24,000 contributing participants deposited an average of $110 per month, or about 5% of their pay, which is the default savings rate. To date, over 40,000 individuals have accumulated combined assets over $22.7 million. We also find that OregonSaves has provided access to workplace retirement accounts for employees of small to mid-sized firms (average firm size 36 employees), with participating employees’ earning an average of $2,182 per month.

Keywords: Retirement, pension, government retirement plan, workplace retirement plan, saving for retirement, low-paid employees

Suggested Citation

Chalmers, John and Mitchell, Olivia S. and Reuter, Jonathan and Zhong, Mingli, Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans for the People: Choices and Outcomes in OregonSaves (July 21, 2020). Wharton Pension Research Council Working Paper No. 2020-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3659731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3659731

John Chalmers

University of Oregon ( email )

Lundquist College of Business
1208 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-3337 (Phone)

Olivia S. Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Pension Research Council ( email )

3302 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jonathan Reuter

Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3808
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mingli Zhong

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
349
PlumX Metrics