Sunday, January 29, 2012

Action Alert: Support PERS Transparency

Here in Oregon, Public Employees have nearly become the ruling class. Hopefully, you and I can do something about it:

Please take action today to support transparency in the Public Employee Retirement System in Oregon!

It is in public’s interest to ensure fiscal discipline and transparency in how the underfunded PERS system operates with full disclosure of individual retiree information. Courts across America have agreed, as judges have rejected the weak arguments of the unions. Even Oregon Attorney General Kroger agrees and has forced PERS to release information that any taxpayer can access.

Click here to send a message to the House Business and Labor Committee Co-Chairs Reps.

Oregon legislators are proposing to limit the public transparency of the Oregon retirement program in LC 43. If introduced and passed as a bill, citizens would no longer have the capability to review who is receiving taxpayer-funded pensions. Full government transparency is imperative. Taxpayers have the right to track where and how their tax dollars are being spent, so that government can be held accountable for the distribution of those dollars.

While the rest of the Country continues to create more transparency in government, Oregon seems to be willing to limit the ability for citizens to hold our government accountable. Please take action now!

Thank you for taking time to take action.


Karla Kay Edwards
State Director
AFP Oregon

h/t Eugene Rant.


T. D. said...

Do you know why PERS is underfunded?

PERS is based on a system like social security. The employee is supposed to put in a certain amount and the employer a matching amount.

However, Oregon state and local government entities never put in that matching amount over the years. What they did was promise to match the amount when it was paid out. So, over the years they have only put in what was required to meet actual retiree payments.

Well, during the boom years of the 1990's, PERS invested the employees' funds and earned big bucks. In fact with few exceptions, the PERS investment people have had phenomenal investment success from the 1970's.

The state and local government entities' portion earned zip, zero, nada because it was never invested--or even set aside. So, when it came time to pay out an amount equal to what the employee had earned, there was no money on the state side.

This is compounded by the fact that the baby boomers are starting to retire, and the current worker payments coming in for their future retirement are not enough to cover needed payments going out to present retirees.

Imagine how stupid it would be for an employer to say he will match your 401k funds (at whatever level the employer has chosen) and then never set aside the funds or invest them.

With PERS there are problems with overpayment especially to the higher ups and rules that don't take into account extended life span, but the huge problem is that state and local entities never set the funds aside.

MAX Redline said...

It's not a problem. Really.

Heck, the City of Portland alone has over three billion two hundred and seventy million dollars' of unfunded liability just in pension and medical.

The "leaders" are so busy with trains and streetcars and "sustainability centers" that they have set aside precisely zero funds to pay for these contractural obligations.

As for those PERS folks who were in it long-term, some of them are sitting pretty - although most aren't in the same boat. I know one guy who was making about $53,000 a year when he retired - and receives about $7000/month from PERS, though - that's around $84000 a year.

I should be so lucky.