Dem’s budget coddles PERS

Oregon budget_thb

by NW Spotlight

The Oregon budget submitted yesterday by Democrats does little to address the PERS problem – and so PERS will continue to eat away at government budgets across Oregon. It will continue to stress school budgets as well as other essential government services.

In a news conference after the Democratic co-chair’s budget was released, the Oregon House Republicans noted that Republicans were excluded from the development of the budget.

Oregon’s PERS costs double Washington State’s retirement system

Harry Esteve at the Oregonian wrote an article on the Dem’s budget yesterday quoting John Tapogna, an economist with EcoNorthwest: “Oregon’s PERS problems would only worsen under the Democrats’ budget proposal. Oregon’s public retirement system costs twice as much as Washington’s.” Tapogna was also quoted saying “The [Democratic] co-chair’s budget falls short on addressing the larger issue of meaningfully reducing long-term liability.'”

Cause of PERS problems – past excesses

More than 90% of the $14 to $16 billion PERS unfunded liability is owed to PERS members who have already retired or were hired before 1996.

A 2011 report on PERS by the City Club of Portland summarized “PERS today is heavily burdened by the past. Before earlier legislative reforms, members received a generous guaranteed annual return on their burgeoning retirement accounts. Members dominated the PERS governing board, frequently crediting accounts with more than double the generous guaranteed rate, sometimes as high as 20 percent in a single year. Many public employees retired with PERS pension payments equaling or even exceeding their salaries at retirement, with Social Security benefits as icing on the cake.”

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Posted by at 07:30 | Posted in OR 77th Legislative Session, State Budget | 4 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • End all unsustainable leeching

    Public retirement COLA’s are inflationary catalysts. The public sector should withdraw from such nonsense and rejoin with private sector formulas. Also factoring such things as unused vacation and sick leave into the dubiously factored annuity is over the top. Pay those out on the spot at retirement like the rest of US receives.

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