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Oregon PERS Information is Copyright Marc R. Feldesman (c) 2003 - 2017 All Rights Reserved. Posts may not be reprinted without prior consent.


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Sunday, July 03, 2016

What's New?

Nothing, bupkis, nada.  PERS continues to be the medias’ bogeyman, and the local government employers keep crying doom and gloom over rate increases proposed for the 2017 biennium.  But they’ve been doing this since the late 1990s, so nothing really has changed.  PERS hasn’t been a big issue in the run up to the November elections, and nothing evil made it to the ballot for November.  So, for most people not yet retired, the next shoe that MAY drop won’t be until the 2017 Legislature.  It is likely that Tim Knopp will reprise his “screw all the actives” bill, but the chances of it passing won’t be known until the elections in November are over and the dust has settled.  Assuming Gov Brown is re-elected, she has shown no appetite to tackle PERS again.  Without a lead by the Governor, the Legislature is just disorganized enough to keep from passing anything too damaging.  This is not a prediction; it is merely an observation based on years of watching the legislature - nothing affecting PERS will take place without active support of the Governor.

The small piece of good news was described in my last post, some time ago.  The 2016 COLA will drop on the next check (August 1, 2016).  For all retirees prior to mid-2013, the COLA will be 2%; while later retirees will receive somewhere between 1.96% and 1.24% depending on the contents of their COLA bank.  The explanation for the discrepancy can be found in the previous post.  (Note added 7/4:  the percentages apply only to those making $60,000 or less.  For those making more than $60K and retiring after mid 2013, the COLA diminishes from those numbers by the amount the benefit exceeds $60,000.  Sorry for any confusion, mrf).

I hope everyone has a safe and sane July 4th.  This site will continue to be mostly quiet until something more interesting than nothing starts happening.  That could be not much before mid-November, after the elections.  Of course, I still try to keep up with the news.  I have to confess that many of my usual sources have begun to retire themselves, or have left the legislative offices, or moved away.  One cannot report on PERS for 15 years without having source turnover.  I try to cultivate new sources, but I’m far removed from the scene of active employees and former students, and I don’t have as much time to just schmooze sources at PERS Board Meetings.  Life is just too busy.  Nevertheless, I still maintain a good network of people in positions to know if anything significant is coming along, so do not despair.  As long as my health holds out, I will keep plying these people for information.

Enjoy your summer.

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