Public employees work hard to serve our state.
They teach Oregon’s children in overcrowded classrooms, buying classroom supplies when budgets are low. They run into burning buildings to keep everyone safe, putting their lives on the line to protect our communities. They keep our communities clean and safe.
Even though many public employees earn less than they would in the private sector, they believe in serving our community. In the past, they were promised a secure retirement in exchange for their service. 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 $2,500 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 liability:
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. Most people believe that it shouldn’t be up to today’s public employees to make up those investment losses.