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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Panel To Look At Ways To Increase Rates Of Retirement Savings

401(K) 2013

The responsibility of saving for retirement is falling more and more on the shoulders of employees.

In Oregon, state Treasurer Ted Wheeler convenes a panel Tuesday to consider options for Oregonians facing retirement with an empty bank account.

It's not hard to find statistics that paint a grim picture of post-career options. A Gallup Poll last year showed the average age of retirement is creeping upwards. The majority polled wanted to stay on their jobs longer because they’re worried they will not be able to fund their retirement.

In Oregon, the state treasurer's office estimates 47 percent of employees don’t have an employer-sponsored retirement program.

AARP Oregon's Joyce DeMonnin says their surveys have found that thousands of Oregonians approaching retirement age have little to no nest egg at all.

"When you have this many people falling through the cracks, it is not someone's personal problem."

Oregon’s retirement task force was created by the Oregon legislature in 2013. Business groups strongly opposed the measure. They fear it could lead to mandatory employer-sponsored retirement plans.

A Gallup Poll found that the average American retired at 61 last year, up four years from the early 90s.