Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fate of PERS reform depends on outcome in governor's race

Statesman Journal
July 20th, 2014

There is possibly no issue more dear to state workers than the Public Employees Retirement System. It is often the primary source of income after retirement, and a constant source of political focus. It has been "reformed" countless times and now has three tiers, multiple configurations of benefits and an assortment of interest rates.
The most recent event in the life of PERS came in 2013 when Gov. John Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Legislature to reduce how much the system costs employers on the front end, as their contribution rates had increased dramatically to make up for losses to the PERS fund during the recession.
The Legislature did so by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment for retirees (present and future), thereby reducing the overall cost of the fund over time and the immediate contribution cost for employers.

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