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News from EPI Oregon retirees need more income options, says EPI report

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

Oregon retirees need more income options, says EPI report

Social Security, pensions and personal savings are the three legs of the “three-legged stool” of the ideal retirement income. But the stool is in danger of tipping for Oregonians—the Social Security “leg” now comprises nearly half (47.6%) of all income for the state’s retirees. Furthermore, low-income workers are less likely to have access to retirement plans than high-income workers, and they are less likely to participate in them, according to a study released today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

“Oregon needs to expand retirement income options to those who are limited by low incomes and lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement plans,” said Elise Gould, co-author and EPI economist.

Nearly half of all Oregon workers age 25-64 are not covered by a retirement plan at work. The report, Oregon retirement security, by EPI experts Elise Gould and Douglas Hall, identifies two main areas where expanded retirement coverage would have the greatest effect. The first is the lowest quartile of retirees, which is disproportionately composed of women and people of color. The second is workers in very small companies (those with 24 or fewer employees)—less than a quarter of them participate in employer-sponsored plans, compared with nearly two-thirds in firms with 1,000 or more employees.

The results of this study will be presented as testimony before the Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee of the Oregon State Legislature by co-author Douglas Hall on Thursday, January 19th in Salem, OR.

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