Thousands of Oregon workers now saving for retirement under new program

A salon in Portland, a brewery in Astoria and an industrial fabric manufacturer from Eugene now have employees with retirement programs.

They are among the 459 small businesses that recently enrolled in Oregon’s state-run retirement program, OregonSaves. That represents the second phase of a program meant to provide workers a simple way to save for retirement.

The final phase starts next May, opening the door for companies with four employees or less.

More than 54,000 Oregonians at 3,637 businesses have enrolled in the program since it debuted a year ago. They are saving with Individual Retirement Accounts set up by the state and those accounts now hold around $36 million in assets. 

According to Michael Parker, director OregonSaves at State Treasurer’s Office, the program helps employers who aren’t able to otherwise provide . . .