The Oregon Legislature and our new Governor both showed up in Salem yesterday and work began today. The Legislature has until January 23rd to get the initial draft of legislative concepts worked into bill form. Some say no more legislation can be introduced after that date; others claim that bills can be brought anytime. With that in mind, the first wave of bills have already been introduced and there are 15 of them that affect everything from the way final average salary is calculated, to multiple bills relating to the retiree COLA, and almost everything in between. So far nothing concerning the assumed rate has appeared, but there are 10 days to go yet. I expect the list will grow daily, and I will try to keep you updated as much as I can.
Note that virtually ALL of these bills have emergency clauses, which means that they will take effect the moment they are passed and signed by the Governor. So retirement planning and trying to "beat the clock" takes on a real dicey format. As far as I am concerned, the last day to get out and be assured that you won't be affected by these emergency bills is February 1. That said, the COLA bills, as they are currently designed, would affect anyone already retired so that even if you miss the impacts that will serve to lower your benefit, the COLA provisions will affect your pension growth after you retire. Even current retirees, such as myself, would be affected by the COLA modifications if they pass.
If you want to see the ugliness that will get considered in this session, please go to our PERS Document Library . There you will find everything proposed for the 2011 session so far located under legislation, with the final item on the list representing the captioned summary of all bills introduced as of 1/11/11. When you get there and start reading, you know you have landed on the wrong side of the street this year.