Earlier this year I wrote about the efforts that Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has been making to advocate for the retirement plans of state workers. Now, it appears that Wheeler is taking further measures to ensure that workers will have access to state-sponsored retirement plans, as House Bill 2960 moves through the current legislative session.
Wheeler’s efforts have been supported by Oregonians and prominent national figures alike. Back in October, wheeler was joined by political consultant Ken Mehlman and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the chief executive of the Center for Retirement Incentives at Georgetown University. Earlier this month, Mehlman penned a letter in support of House Bill 2960, in what Wheeler is referring to as a “bipartisan coalition in support of retirement savings.” With this kind of continual support, recovering from the current “crisis” that is retirement in Oregon appears to be imminent.
According to the Portland Tribune, “State Treasurer Ted Wheeler continues to be a forceful advocate for legislation that requires employers to offer automatic enrollment of workings in state-sponsored savings plan for retirement.” Now moving through the current legislation process, House Bill 2960 will reportedly not benefit the post-World War II generation (often referred to as baby boomers), who have already begun to retire. Rather, “it will ease the financial burdens of the works who will retire in another decade or two – and the workers whose taxes will support government services for them – unless Oregon and other states fail to act,” reports the Portland Tribune’s Peter Wong.
“More and more people will rely instead on costly government safety-net services to get them through their retirement years, instead of a practical, low-cost portable way for them to save their own resources for their retirement,” explains Wheeler. Essentially, Wheeler wants Oregon workers to begin contributing to their own retirement plans in a manageable, incremental way, rather than forcing them to rely on inflated government programs later in life. This way, the people are taking control of their own financial futures, with support from their state government.
To learn more about House Bill 2960 and what it would mean for Oregon residents, you can read the bill in full here.