Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) updates

***PERS Update - For Informational Purposes Only***

This information is being provided to assist employees in researching, reviewing, and evaluating how proposed PERS reform and/or changes may impact their retirement benefits. 

Employees are responsible for researching, verifying, and evaluating how these changes and reform measures may impact them and their retirement benefits. 

OSU is NOT providing legal interpretation of the PERS reform and/or changes and cannot evaluate how these changes may impact an individual employee’s retirement benefits.

If there is any conflict between this web page and federal law, Oregon law, or administrative rules, the laws and rules shall prevail.

2019:  Several bills were introduced during the 2019 Legislative session proposing various PERS reforms.  None of original bills introduced made it out of committee; but late in the legislative session a new bill, Senate Bill 1049, was introduced.  Senate Bill 1049 has been approved by the Legislature.  If Senate Bill 1049 is approved by the Governor, there will be some changes to member benefits.

2019 PERS - Senate Bill 1049:

SB 1049 includes several employer funding changes, benefit modifications, and a temporary change to Work After Retirement hours limitations for all PERS retirees.  Below is a brief summary of benefit modifications and returning retiree limitations:

  • Annual Salary Cap - Effective January 1, 2020.
    • Applies an annual salary cap of $195,000 (to be indexed annually) for Subject Salary and for the calculation of Average Ending Salary for years 2020 and after. 
    • For years beginning in 2020, the 6% employee contribution (currently "picked up" by OSU) will be applied to wages up to the annual salary cap.
    • The Final Average Salary associated with service earned before January 1, 2020 would be unaffected by the limit. 
    • Impacts Final Average Salary calculations for years after January 1, 2020 under the Full Formula or Full Formula+Annuity pension calculations. 
    • [Applies to PERS Tier 1, PERS Tier 2, and OPSRP members]
    • [Applies to Full Formula and Full Formula+Annuity calculations]
  • Redirects a portion of the 6% Employee Contribution (currently "picked up" by OSU) from the IAP (Individual Account Program Account) into an Employee Pension Stability Account - Effective July 1, 2020.
    • The redirect will only apply to members who earn more than $2,500 gross salary/wages per month ($30,000 per year).
    • The Employee Pension Stability Account will be used to fund the life-long pension benefit earned by the employee.  
    • For Tier 1 and Tier 2 members, beginning with the July 2020 paycheck, 2.5% will be redirected into the Employee Pension Stability Account and the remaining 3.5% will go into the IAP account.  The redirected amounts are not eligible for inclusion in the Money Match pension calculation.
    • For OPSRP members, beginning with the July 2020 paycheck, 0.75% will be redirected into the Employee Pension Stability Account and the remaining 5.25% will go into the IAP account. 
    • [Applies to PERS Tier 1, PERS Tier 2, and OPSRP members]
  • Work After Retirement Hours limitations* - Effective January 1, 2020. 
    • Removes the hours limitation for PERS retirees, but requires employers to pay the employer contribution on the returning retiree's salary/wages.
    • Effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2024
    • For PERS purposes, a PERS retiree who retired on or after normal retirement age may work without a limitation on hours worked, if the administrative head of the public employer is satisfied that the employment is in the public interest.
    • For PERS purposes, a PERS retiree who retired earlier than normal retirement age, may work without a limitation on hours worked, if the date of employment is more than six months after the retirement date, and the administrative head of the public employer is satisfied that the employment is in the public interest.
    • Employer contributions into the PERS fund will be required on a Returning Retiree's salary/wages at the same rate as an active PERS member.
    • [Applies to PERS Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP Returning Retirees]

*Note:  OSU policy on work after retirement limits hours to 1039 hours.

 

PERS Information on SB 1049 (05/31/2019):

Senate Bill 1049: Changes to Member Contributions and Amortization of UAL (Unfunded Actuarial Liability)

The Oregon Legislature has approved Senate Bill 1049. While there are no immediate member impacts upon passage, and the bill primarily impacts members who have not yet retired, the bill does include a number of changes for PERS employers and members that will occur in the future. PERS will continue to analyze the bill and prepare for implementation, if approved by the Governor. We will add more information to this page in the near future. Sign up for GovDelivery updates to receive email or text alerts from PERS on Senate Bill 1049.

How To Search Legislative Bills:

  • Go to the Oregon State Legislature website
  • From the "Bills and Laws" tab,
  • Select  "Current Session Details"
  • Select "Bills" icon (in the top blue header)
  • Type in word/phrase to search; or
  • If you know the bill number, select it from the list of Senate or House bills

How To Calculate Your PERS Pension Benefit:

  • Request written estimate:
    • PERS Tier 1/Tier 2 Form
    • PERS OPSRP Form
    • Use the written benefit estimate request if your pension estimate needs to be processed by the PERS divorce unit
    • Maximum vacation payout for an Unclassified employee is 180 hours
    • OSU does participate in the PERS sick leave program
    • Retirement date is always the first of the month, regardless of last day worked
    • ORP members (Optional Retirement Plan with Valic, Fidelity or TIAA) –
      • use salary data from date last in a PERS position (i.e., 1996)
      • use sick leave balance at the time membership changed from PERS to ORP (i.e., 1996)
      • do NOT use a vacation balance because unused vacation (if applicable) was not paid out when you changed to the ORP pension program
  • Fax (503-598-0561) or mail form directly to PERS
  • PERS processes request in the order of retirement date (not in the order requests are received).  Recommend using the earliest retirement date possible.
  • Note:  The PERS online estimator and written estimates will only be accurate for effective retirement dates on or before December 1, 2019.  PERS will communicate when benefit estimates and the online estimator reflects the changes included in SB 1049. 
  • Online Pension Estimate
    • > Click on Online Member Services (OMS Login)
    • > Select “Log In”
    • > "Open a New Account" and then login. 
    • > You're now on the Account Home Page. 
    • > Scroll down and click on "Member" in the "Account Plan" section, you are now on the Account Summary Page.
    • > Click on "Benefit Estimate" (on the left hand side of the screen)
    • > Click on "Create a New Benefit Estimate", the system will ask a series of questions (i.e., retirement date, beneficiary, etc.)

What if I am a member of the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) with Valic (prior to 2007), Fidelity, or TIAA - Does this impact me?

The Oregon Public Universities Retirement Plan is currently reviewing the legislation to determine if there is any impact to ORP Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 members.  Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

ORP members that have a PERS account are considered Inactive PERS members.  

View PERS 2018 updates