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Additional Requests for PERS Retiree Records
PERS is asking the Circuit Court in Marion County to review two public records requests by the Statesman Journal newspaper regarding PERS retirees. A copy of the Complaint, filed December 14, 2010, is available here.
 
PERS believes that the requests do not meet the public records law requirements to disclose the information.
 
One of the Statesman Journal’s requests is for “information about retirement benefits earned by all retirees currently receiving benefits from PERS.” The request includes:
  • Name of retiree,
  • Employer at time of retirement,
  • Annual pay at time of retirement,
  • Monthly retirement benefits they now receive,
  • Which PERS plan they retired under,
  • The formula used to calculate their retirement,
  • Whether they receive health benefits through PERS, and
  • Accrued sick leave or vacation time applied to their benefit level.
 
The Statesman Journal’s other request is for the following information about retirement benefits for six named individuals:
  • Annual pay at time of retirement,
  • Monthly retirement benefits paid to each,
  • Which PERS plan they retired under,
  • The formula used to calculate their retirement, and
  • Whether they receive health benefits through PERS.
 
Oregon Revised Statute 192.502 states:
The following public records are exempt from disclosure under ORS 192.410 to 192.505:
 
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 (2) Information of a personal nature such as but not limited to that kept in a personal, medical or similar file, if public disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, unless the public interest by clear and convincing evidence requires disclosure in the particular instance. The party seeking disclosure shall have the burden of showing that public disclosure would not constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy.
 
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(12) Employee and retiree address, telephone number and other nonfinancial membership records and employee financial records maintained by the Public Employees Retirement System pursuant to ORS chapters 238 and 238A.
 
Oregon Administrative Rule 459-060-0020 states:
(1) ORS 192.502(12) unconditionally exempts from public disclosure a member’s nonfinancial membership records and an active or inactive member’s financial records maintained by PERS. PERS shall not release such records to anyone other than the affected member or an authorized representative of the member or the member’s estate …  
 
(2) ORS 192.502(2) conditionally exempts from public disclosure a retired member’s financial information maintained by PERS. PERS shall not release such records to anyone other than the retired member or the retired member’s estate unless:
(a) To do so would not constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy and if there is clear and convincing evidence that disclosure is in the public’s interest …