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Public workers file suit to protect PERS retirement benefits

SB 1049 is a breach of contract, an illegal taking, and violates the Constitution. A diverse group of nine Oregon public employees filed suit against SB 1049 in the Oregon Supreme Court today. The lawsuit shows the broad impact of retirement cuts imposed by the Oregon state legislature this year.   In the filing, a Molalla … Read More

Oregonian: Business Group Moves Forward on Pension Cuts Ballot Measure

A business coalition seeking to tackle Oregon’s pension crisis took another step toward putting two reforms on the ballot in November. The group, PERS Solutions for Public Services, submitted 1,000 signatures to begin the process of drafting ballot titles for Initiative Petitions 22 and 23. Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Chris Telfer, a former Republican … Read More

Passage of SB 1049: “A disappointing day for Oregon workers.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2019 In a close vote today the Oregon House turned its back on public employees with the passage of the PERS cuts bill, SB 1049. After months of advocacy by working people, tens of thousands of emails, and thousands of phone calls, SB 1049 avoided the more draconian benefit cuts … Read More

Statement on Oregon Senate Passage of Retirement Cuts

PERS Coalition Statement on SB 1049 retirement reductions passed by Oregon Senate Over the opposition and testimony of Oregon teachers, firefighters, nurses and public employees from across the state, the Oregon Senate today voted to reduce their retirement security and force the state into another lengthy and expensive lawsuit on PERS. Under SB 1049, at … Read More

Fact sheet: SB 1049

Legislative PERS Cut Bill SB 1049: Illegal, unfair and breaks promises to public employees   SB 1049 serious legal and fairness issues. SB 1049 requires the same 6% contribution to PERS member’s Individual Account Program, but reduces the retirement benefit people will receive. Download the SB 1049 fact sheet.  Thousands of PERS members have emailed … Read More

Public employees speak out on what PERS cuts would mean to them

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 14, 2019 In a public hearing about SB 1049, teachers, firefighters, child welfare workers and other public employees testified about what it means to have a career in public service and the importance of PERS for a secure retirement. According to research by the Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon educators … Read More

Retirement account cuts of more than 12% released today. PERS Coalition Statement: Protect member benefits or get ready for lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 10, 2019 A PERS cuts bill released today would slash individual account programs for PERS members from 7 to 12.5% according to analysis submitted by PERS from the agency’s consultant Milliman. The analysis shows that the proposed cuts in SB 1049 would impose significant and damaging cuts to the Individual Account … Read More

Willamette Week: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Unveils Her Proposal to Stabilize Pension Costs in Schools

The governor wants money from SAIF, the kicker, capital gains and estate taxes—and public employees—to halt rising employer contributions. Gov. Kate Brown today released her plan for halting the rise in the cost of the Public Employee Retirement System costs for Oregon schools, community colleges and public universities. The governor’s concept calls for the state … Read More

The Bulletin: PERS plan likely won’t fix problem

Methods of gathering funds not enough to protect schools from rising pension costs Much of the intrigue in this year’s legislative session centers around lawmakers’ push to raise corporate taxes by $2 billion to better fund Oregon’s struggling K-12 schools. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Gov. Kate Brown is aggressively shaking the sofa cushions of state … Read More

The Newberg Graphic: PERS cuts will hurt child welfare system

The Oregon Business Council holds too much sway in the halls of the Oregon Legislature in Salem The Oregon Business Council (OBC) is run by some of the highest paid and powerful business people in our state. People like Mark Ganz, president and chief executive officer of Cambia Health; Andy Bryant, chairman of the board … Read More

The Oregonian: Readers respond: PERS reform talk disrespectful

I am an English instructor at Mt. Hood Community College, where I’ve taught for the last five years and hope I am making a difference helping people build lives for themselves. I’m proud to be serving my community. While teaching is generally not a high-paying profession, it does offer benefits and job security that allow … Read More

OPB: Former Oregon Gov. Wants To Reduce PERS Benefits To Offset Mounting Costs

Former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski is leading a new initiative drive that would ask voters to reduce some public employee retirement benefits to help reduce the costs of the financially troubled pension system. Kulongoski, a Democrat, and former Republican state Sen. Chris Telfer of Bend are the chief sponsors of a pair of initiatives filed … Read More

PERS Facts and Information

Fifteen years ago, Oregon dramatically reduced pensions and retirement benefits (PERS) for newly hired public employees. But in the 2008 recession, the pension fund lost money and today there is a $22 billion difference between what the state owes for retiree pensions and what’s in the fund. While this is a very large liability, the … Read More

Gazette Times: Editorial: PERS barges in to talks about school funds

Do you remember a couple of years ago, the last time the Legislature was seriously considering a major new tax on Oregon businesses? At the time, business leaders were sending encouraging signs that they’d be open to taxation proposals — as long as legislators also reformed the state’s underfunded public pension system. Long story short: … Read More

OPB: The $22 Billion Question: Understanding PERS

Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System is in billions of dollars of trouble. But it’s not just an abstract number: this is a story about real people’s lives and it affects all Oregonians. Maybe you already know a lot about Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System. Or maybe you feel like you should know more, but every … Read More

Portland Tribune: My View: Get your facts straight on PERS

We all benefit from multiple forms of public service. Supporting a public pension plan, as part of compensation for firefighters, police, teachers, librarians and other public servants speaks volumes about what we value in Oregon. A top issue in the gubernatorial campaign was the supposed “crisis” facing the Public Employees Retirement System. Many of the … Read More

Election takeaway: Oregonians reject retirement cuts to teachers, firefighters and public employees

Image: Oregon firefighters protested Knute Buehler’s proposed cuts to their retirements outside the final gubernatorial debate at KGW News on 10/9/18 After spending millions of dollars, Knute Buehler, Phil Knight, and Priority Oregon learned an important lesson: Oregonians stand with teachers, firefighters and other public employees. The bottom line is that candidates who tried to … Read More

The Oregonian: PERS Q&A: Do PERS members contribute to their own retirement?

By Ted Sickinger| The Oregonian/OregonLive Editor’s note: This is a weekly Q&A focused on the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. Got a question? Submit it to Q: Do PERS members contribute to their own retirement? A: Yes. Since the inception of PERS in 1946, the state has required a mandatory retirement contribution from employees, now 6 … Read More

Letter: PERS a lifeline for correctional officers

Greg Clouser, a corrections corporal in Hermiston, Oregon, shared how important a secure retirement is for him and his family. “So why risk our families, our health and our lives? Because traditionally this has been a secure job with consistent pay and secure benefits. We knew that if we came to work and did our … Read More