by PERS Solutions for Public Services —
Now that the Legislature has passed $2 billion in new taxes for schools, it’s urgent that they also enact real PERS reforms. Otherwise, over time, much of the money won’t make it to the classroom.
As a report in the May 8 edition of Willamette Week said, passing the new tax “would be like topping off a bucket that has a hole in the side of it—much of the $2 billion would leak into pre-existing pension obligations of the Public Employee Retirement System. But lawmakers could plug the leak by requiring public employees to pay a larger share of their own retirement costs.”
Legislative leaders have taken their first step toward PERS reforms with Senate Bill 1049. It protects all PERS benefits already earned and reinstates employee contributions to support the pension system going forward. It caps high-dollar pensions and corrects costly add-on benefit features for future service. And it extends the repayment schedule for the $26.6 billion PERS pension debt.
It’s a good effort. But powerful political forces are pushing back. Lawmakers won’t address the huge pension debt unless they hear from their constituents – like you.
Please contact your legislators TODAY and urge them to pass SB 1049before time runs out.
Let them know you want real PERS reforms that protect funding for the kids in our classrooms and other services from cuts caused by rising PERS pension costs. Tell them they shouldn’t go home without it.