Pension benefits are provided to you when you are employed in a qualifying position.  The pension program is administered by the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), which determines the plan available to you.


  • Employees of the University on an Educational Visa (J-1, F-1, etc) are not eligible to participate in the retirement programs per Oregon Revised Statute 238.015(4) and Oregon Administrative Rule 459.010.0025(1).
  • Employees that are not subject to Oregon taxes (includes those not living or working in Oregon and Foreign Nationals), will only earn retirement credit (years of service) under the OPSRP pension program.  At retirement the OPSRP pension calculation for Average Ending Salary will only include salary subject to Oregon taxes. 

Your public employee pension plan has two components:   1) OPSRP Pension or the PERS Pension program and 2) the Individual Account Program (IAP).  PERS manages the OPSRP pension, the PERS pension, and the Individual Account Program (IAP) for eligible public employees.   Participation in the pension program (OPSRP, PERS) is based on an employee’s original eligibility date with a PERS participating employer and their current membership status.

The OPSRP and PERS component of the pension program is a defined benefit plan and is funded by OSU and provides a lifetime pension benefit. 

The IAP component of your pension program is a defined contribution plan and is funded by contributions of 6% of your subject salary.  OSU pays the 6% contribution for you.  Your account is credited with earnings/losses annually based on investment returns.  At retirement, the funds can be withdrawn as a lump-sum payment or in installments.  It is not a lifetime benefit.


The information on this website is an overview of the OPSRP/PERS and IAP programs.  The descriptions of OPSRP and PERS benefits are based on OSU’s and PERS’ understanding of the 2003 and subsequent legislation, as amended and as affected by judicial decisions, as of the date of this material.  Certain aspects of 2003 PERS legislation are or will be the subject of legal challenges.  In addition, PERS regularly adopts administrative rules to implement legislative changes.  The descriptions of OPSRP and PERS benefits are therefore subject to modification and/or clarification by new legislation, court decisions, and PERS’ administrative rulemaking.  In case of conflict between the information on this website and Oregon state law regulating OPSRP/PERS, Oregon state law, and federal regulations will govern.

Program Membership

  • OPSRP – hired on or after August 29, 2003
  • PERS Tier 2 – hired between January 1, 1996 and August 28, 2003
  • PERS Tier 1 – hired on or prior to December 31, 1995

Qualifying position

Is a position that is expected to complete the six month waiting period and is expected to work at least 600 hours in the calendar year.

Pension Contributions

  • Must be in a qualifying position
  • Contributions begin
    • New to PERS system – contributions will begin after serving the six full month waiting period
    • Already a PERS member – contributions will begin immediately  and your PERS tier remains the same (Tier 1, 2, or OPSRP)
  • Amount of contributions
    • IAP account - OSU currently pays the employee’s 6% contribution for you
    • OPSRP or PERS program - OSU pays an employer contribution that goes into an employer account to fund the PERS or OPSRP pension benefit for eligible employees


  • IAP account – 100% vested once membership is established
  • OPSRP program – after completing five years of qualifying service or upon reaching “normal” retirement age (age 65) while actively employed in a qualifying position
  • PERS program – after completing five years of qualifying service or upon reaching age 50 while actively employed in a qualifying position


Defined Benefit Plan = pension benefit at retirement is based on a predetermined formula (years of service and average ending salary). This is a lifetime benefit.

Defined Contribution = pension benefit at retirement is based on the contributions to the plan plus any investment earnings. This is not a lifetime benefit.