At the May 26, 2017 PERS Board meeting, Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 459-011-0050 was amended to clarify that service time forfeited under Loss of Membership (LOM) is not eligible for purchase.
Under the administrative rule clarification, purchases of forfeited LOM time will not be allowed beginning with January 1, 2018 effective retirement dates.
If you currently have at least 10 years of creditable service, you may be able to purchase some or all of your forfeited LOM time, but only if you retire on or before December 1, 2017, and complete the purchase within 90 days before your effective retirement date.
PERS mailed letters to Tier One and Tier Two members who may be affected by the rule clarification.
If you would like to know the estimated cost of purchasing your forfeited LOM time, please complete an Estimate Request form and return it to PERS. Once we process your request, we will send you an updated estimate and purchase letter that include the cost of purchasing your forfeited LOM time. If you decide to make the purchase, you must submit your retirement application with an effective retirement date on or before December 1, 2017, and complete the purchase within 90 days before your effective retirement date.
Please contact Member Services if you have any questions. You can also confirm if you have LOM time through Online Member Services (OMS). Pages 18-19 of the Pre-Retirement Guide provide background information about purchases and forfeited time.
OAR 459-011-050 Background
Under Oregon law, there are two ways a Tier One/Tier Two member ceases to be a PERS member: through withdrawal or through Loss of Membership (LOM). Withdrawal occurs under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 238.265, when a member withdraws their member account and terminates their membership. A member also loses their membership if they leave PERS-covered employment before becoming vested and do not work for a PERS-covered employer for five or more years (commonly known as “Loss of Membership” or “LOM”). After the member goes into LOM status, all rights in the system are terminated under ORS 238.095(2). Statute provides two ways for a Tier One/Tier Two member who has forfeited their membership rights by reason of withdrawal to restore or purchase some or all of the forfeited rights: under ORS 238.105 or 238.115. However, there is no statutory provision that allows for LOM time to be restored or purchased. Accordingly, under Oregon law, forfeited LOM time cannot be restored or purchased. Prior to November 2016, PERS did not draw a clear distinction between forfeited withdrawn time vs. forfeited LOM time for purposes of ORS 238.115 purchase eligibility. The OAR amendment makes the distinction in order to comply with statute. The rule applies to effective retirements on and after January 1, 2018.