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Saturday, January 19, 2008

House of Cards

I spoke too soon in my post earlier today. The mail brought me PERS' form letter declining to share my wealth with me. They turned down my appeal. My appeal form looked suspiciously like a legal documents complete with all kinds of cool phrases like: "In the matter of the appeal of Marc Feldesman" and "Review Determination". The bottom line is the somewhat rude and unsurprising and unoriginal "Calculation Upheld." I stood open-mouthed in disbelief that they could actually turn down *my* appeal. The nerve of them. And here I thought that after writing mean things about them for a few years they might be sufficiently afraid that they'd treat me differently than all the other hundreds, possibly thousands, who have already appealed.

As I said this morning, I have a local attorney experienced in these matters who volunteered to take my case pro bono. I still haven't decided whether it is worth the time or effort. I suspect that once the attorney finds out how many stun guns PERS throws up in his face, he might rethink his offer. My guess is that he needs paying clients far worse than he needs this grief. It is probably better to wait for the horse to Kantor. Perhaps then the house of cards will finally start falling down.


JB said...

I just received my PERS recalculation since I am a 2002 lump sum retiree. I thought lump sum meant I severed any obligation to PERS and them to me on my account. I am asking for their interpretation of "lump sum." Beyond that issue I recalculated my 1999 earnings on my regular account using 11.33 and 20%. PERS says I owe over $23K and my calculations show no more than $15.8K, a difference of $7,000. Is this a customary finding? I am appealing any amount, however.
I also find no support in the OAR for any particular form PERS has created to process an appeal. I trust the attached document I send will be sufficient.
Thanks for any reply.

mrfearless47 said...

Unfortunately, lump sum recipients are not immune from the recalculations that PERS is undertaking. Since you benefitted from the 1999 earnings credit, PERS argues that you owe them money on the portion of your lump sum settlement that you received. The calculation involves taking the entire amount you received, adjusted by the 1999 earnings recredited at 11.33%, and then compounded forward to the date of retirement. I suspect that you may have forgotten the compounding to 2002, which can be a substantial amount. I encourage you to appeal even though the loss is pretty much pro forma. Good luck. OAR 238.715 is the catch all statute PERS is using, but the Robinson case ruling by Judge Kantor seems to dispute PERS' authority to use this in collecting overpayments. Indeed, the only reason PERS isn't coming after you right now is because of the Robinson injunction. Keep us posted