Thousands of Oregon public workers could see smaller retirement pots if lawmakers pass a slate of changes to the state’s retirement plan.
About 176,000 people now working for state and local government, ranging from teachers to firefighters to wildlife biologists, are part of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, known as PERS.
Under a new proposal from Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature, employees who make $30,000 a year or more could expect to see the benefits they were going to get reduced, depending on when they were hired and how long before they plan to retire. The change would continue until the state catches up and nearly fully funds the retirement system.
As of October, the system has only about 73 percent of the money needed to pay benefits in the years ahead, according to Oregon PERS.
That change would affect the vast majority of public employees in the state.
About 97 percent of Oregon employees hired before Aug. 29, 2003, make $30,000 or more.