The Legislative crap game hasn't folded its tent yet, unfortunately. The Governor and the Dems are so desperate for revenue - at least another $275 million - that they are willing to sell our souls for a few Repub votes. PERS members are still in the crosshairs since SB 822 didn't satisfy the bloodlust of the media, the Rs, and the Governor. Last week Gov. KitzRobber held a round of meetings with legislative leaders to plead for more revenue. The only way they see this possible is with more PERS revenue transfer from members into the pockets of employers. Basically, the Legislature, the Governor, the media have all decided that the entire increase in this year's budget will be funded off the backs of PERS retirees first, and then from future retirees - the actives and in actives. (Keep in mind that all these changes to PERS replace any changes to the tax structure in Oregon; few, if any, additional tax revenue will be needed if all these PERS' robbing ideas get implemented.)
Ideas currently in circulation include bills to prevent pension "spiking" (a current non-problem), flexibility on the 6% employee contribution (i.e. taking away part or all of the "pickup"), ending Money Match for inactive members with less than 10 years of service and no service in the past 10 years. The "spiking" provision would reduce employer contributions by about 0.7% or approximately $660 million (this is a total amount over 20 years; about $66 million per biennium) since it only applies to Tier 1 and Tier 2 members (not OPSRP) who retire under Full Formula or under Formula + Annuity, but not Money Match. The "pickup" saves a variable amount of money depending on how it is implemented both statewide and locally. The objective is simply to provide more negotiating room in collective bargaining. Finally, the issue of inactive members retiring under Money Match came into focus after Paul Cleary's testimony on SB 822. I have seen no analysis of how much a bill ending Money Match for certain inactive members would save, nor have I seen a bill with that objective. The other ideas are part of SB 754, introduced by OSBA, and being actively pushed by a group entitled Reform PERS Now.
As I have indicated before, I don't give advice to people who are on the verge of retirement. But, if you are already considering retirement this year, know that you will retire under Full Formula or Annuity Plus, and don't have a complex situation that will require time to assemble funds or paperwork, I do know that the removal of sick leave, vacation time, and overtime will have a huge impact on a small number of people. You might want to get your affairs in order and be prepared to submit your retirement papers before May 31 for a June 1 retirement. I don't think the Legislature can move quickly enough to pass bills to eliminate pension "spiking", which is the major concern for most people, or for eliminating Money Match retirements for those who stopped working for a PERS employer more than 15 years ago. These bills have a relatively long cycle to get passed and signed, even with an emergency clause.
Both the Legislature and unretired, but eligible PERS members, are both throwing dice in difference craps games. If this concerns you, there are two actions you can take. First, start lobbying your own legislators on how unfair this kind of change is just before someone retires, and two, get your retirement affairs in order. Your only option if things start to go pear-shaped is to get out of the system quickly.