We are the teachers, police, firefighters, nurses and other public employees of Oregon. We knew we wouldn’t get rich when we took these jobs, but at least we had secure benefits. Now those benefits are being threatened.
Public employees work hard to serve our state.
We teach Oregon’s children in overcrowded classrooms, buying classroom supplies when budgets are low. We run into burning buildings to keep everyone safe, putting our lives on the line to protect our communities.
We work hard and we are proud of our public service. Even though many of us earn less than we would in the private sector, we believe in serving our community. In the past, there was a fair exchange promised secure retirements. But now, that retirement is under attack.
Here are some facts everyone should understand about PERS:
For the past 15 years, all newly hired public employees have received a reduced pension from the old PERS. The average pension is about $2,400 a month. This plan is so different that it has its own name: Oregon Public Retirement System.
Today, more than 50% of the public workforce in Oregon is in this new sustainable system.
What to know about the state’s unfunded pension libaility:
Oregon’s pension system was 111% funded in 2007. But the market crashed in the Great Recession and the fund lost 30% of its value. While most people believe that it shouldn’t be up to today’s public employees to make up those investment losses, there is a well-funded attack from Priority Oregon and a few politicians to do just that.