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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Everybody's On the Phone

Now that everyone should have received their PERS benefit for the month of January (on February 1st) my email box and voicemail runneth over. The question: why did my benefit go down (up) on February 1? Did PERS just implement the recovery without bothering to notify me? The unequivocal answer to this question is NO. The only things that changed were the Oregon and Federal Withholding Tables. These tables are adjusted annually for inflation and employers are required to implement withholding changes effective with the first payroll for time worked in January. Since PERS checks are issued "in arrears", the deposit/check received on February 1 was for the period January 1 - January 31. Thus, this is the first payment of the new year and the first payment to which the new withholding tables were applied. So if your benefit went up or down by a few dollars (mine increased by $15.47) it isn't anything sinister up with PERS. It is just your governments changing the amount they accept as prepayment for your obligation to democracy.

P.S. This whole situation has inspired one of my regular readers to question whether or not we can trust PERS anymore or PERS has squandered members' trust along with their money. Please go to my other blog and discuss Peg's thesis there.

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