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Data from the OregonSaves plan itself found that 62 percent of those eligible to participate were doing so, while 29 percent had formally opted out. (Photo of Oregon capitol building, Salem: Getty)

The lack of retirement savings accounts at work for private-sector workers — only about half are covered by an employer-sponsored plan at any given time — and the fact that few workers save for retirement on their own has led to several states launching their own plans, auto-IRAs sponsored by the state that automatically enroll workers.

Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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