Monday, October 20, 2014

Oregon Supreme Court hears PERS arguments

Statesman Journal
October 15th, 2014


One question sat firmly at the heart of Tuesday's Supreme Court arguments over cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System: What does it mean to make a promise?
Must it last forever? Can its terms be altered to accommodate time and circumstance? Is it necessarily a "promise" to simply say something is planned to happen?
The issue at hand was the cost-of-living adjustment provided to PERS retirees. Most retirees had received a 2 percent COLA every year until the Oregon Legislature passed two laws last year that reduced it.
The new COLA is calculated with a series of graduated levels much like inverted tax brackets. Lower income brackets receive a larger increase, and the highest brackets receive a smaller one.
Public employees sued immediately after the bills that created this new law, Senate Bills 822 and 861, were passed in 2013.

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