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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hit The Road Jack

And don't you come back no more.  Just got a note from a friend that ALL of PERS' fill-in-the-forms sessions for a March 1 retirement date and an April 1 retirement date are full.  I don't know how common this is, but the Legislature's 23 bills no doubt has some of those 60,000+ members eligible for retirement planning to kiss their employers' goodbye.  This isn't a surprise given what is going on in Wisconsin, the huge anti-PERS sentiment here in Oregon (lest you doubt this, just follow up on any PERS-related article published in any of the various newspapers around the state, and you will see the venom spewing out towards PERS members and retirees in the letters column or on the blog comments).  I have suggested since these bills were first published that March 1 or April 1 would be the optimum date to depart to avoid "most" of the legislature's more draconian actions.  The only bills that *could* affect new (and old) retirees would be one of the bills intended to meddle with the COLA provisions.  I think that these bills face an unlikely future given how carefully woven into the statutes the COLA provisions are.  The current provisions - 2% maximum COLA, banking of excess COLA, 5 years vesting to COLA, and COLA on full benefit have been in their current places since 1971.  If ever there were statutory and contractual issues, these we be at the top of any list.

In the meantime, the state and other public employers may not have to cut as much from their budgets when huge waves of eligible retirees decide that "enough is enough".    I suspect that many more may decide to "hit the road" before July 1.

3 comments:

Kolbs said...

I know of some people who are scheduling PERS sessions in order to make sure their paperwork is complete. Then they will wait to see what the legislature looks to be doing before turning in the papers and retiring. Of course timing is everything and there are no guarantees. It would help if the emergency clauses got stripped from the bills. Is it only the bill author who can remove those clauses??

Each person should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of leaving early. It is by no means certain that any of these bills will become law.

allen said...

Mr fearless47, if the PERS haters get their way, when would the soonest date these bills could become enacted? What is the schedule of the legislative members? If I can't make it to the end of the year, creating one of the "Big 3", what's the use in hanging around and stressing (gambling) about the situation?

mrfearless47 said...

Allen: the soonest these bills could be enacted is the day the Governor signs them. This, of course, assumes that (a) they pass both houses of the Legislature and (b) the emergency clause remains in them.