SALEM, Ore., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oregon Retirement Savings Board and State Treasurer Tobias Read today announced that the OregonSaves retirement program is now available for SEIU-represented Personal Support Workers (PSWs) across the state to join and start saving for a better retirement. PSWs provide home-based services to adults and children experiencing intellectual or developmental disabilities.
OregonSaves launched in 2017 and continues to expand statewide in waves. Tens of thousands of workers—most first-time savers—have already set aside more than $75 million toward retirement. PSWs will now have the opportunity to join the 76,000+ savers who have already enrolled through an employer.
"OregonSaves has opened its doors to thousands of support workers across the state," said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. "This ensures that every worker who wants to participate has the option to save for retirement. We're pleased to be able to offer workers a path to long-term financial security, especially those who dedicate their careers to serving others."
In 2019, SEIU-represented PSWs and Homecare workers negotiated this benefit as an opportunity to simply and safely save for retirement. Through collective bargaining, SEIU secured a $.77 wage increase for PSWs to offset the cost of taking part in the OregonSaves program. Pay increases belong to PSWs regardless of their participation.
"Retirement savings will help make personal support work a viable career for many people," said SEIU 503 Executive Director Melissa Unger. "That will reduce turnover and in turn improve the quality of care that Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities receive."
PSWs were invited to participate in OregonSaves in September and were also provided with the opportunity to opt out.
"Caregivers have long needed a pathway to retirement," said Patty Falkenstein, a personal support worker who is participating in OregonSaves. "Caregiving is a part of Oregon's way of life. The ability to choose to live at home and in the community is so vital to the people we support. Caregivers allow thousands of people to live with respect and dignity, and OregonSaves is one way to give respect back to workers."
OregonSaves is a simple way for Oregonians to save for retirement at work. Employees contribute part of their paycheck into their own personal IRAs that stay with them throughout their careers. Visit www.oregonsaves.com.