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Proposed PERS Administrative Rules
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Proposed Administrative Rules

Membership Eligibility

Eligibility for the PERS Tier One, Tier Two, and OPSRP Programs are predicated on the employee being in a "qualifying position," which is generally defined as one where an employee is normally required to perform 600 or more hours of service in a full calendar year. Applying this standard is complicated when the employee is not employed over the full calendar year, or what we refer to as a partial year of employment (e.g., the employee is hired after the first of the year or separates from employment before the calendar year ends).

In those circumstances, PERS relies on the employer to designate whether the position is one where 600 or more hours of service are normally required in a calendar year. In reporting to PERS, the employer designates if the employee is in a qualifying or non-qualifying ("Q/NQ") position during a partial year of employment. OAR 459-010-0003 currently recognizes this presumptive designation, but also defines circumstances where the presumption may be overridden (e.g., when an employer reports a position is non-qualifying, but the employee does in fact work more than 600 hours in a calendar year).

The current rule addresses what happens when the employee separates before the end of the calendar year ("partial year of separation"). These proposed rule modifications also cover further scenarios for partial years when the member is hired after the first of the year ("partial year of hire") and for partial years due to a hire and separation in the same calendar year ("short segment").

Other proposed rule modifications clarify the terms "working days" and "business days." Certain membership eligibility determinations depend on these terms. A "working day" is a day the employer is open for business, and a "business day" is "a day Monday through Friday when PERS is open for business." Employers do not regularly report "working days" to PERS, and instances have occurred where the delay in obtaining "working day" information has deterred timely eligibility determinations. To address this concern, the rule amendments allow staff to use "business day" where "working day" information is not available to allow for more expeditious processing of eligibility and membership determinations, thereby improving PERS' overall administration.

Draft Rule
459-005-0001
459-010-0003
459-010-0010
459-010-0035
459-070-0001
459-075-0010

GAAP Cost Allocation

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has adopted new standards for public pension plan financial reporting (GASB 67 and GASB 68). GASB 68 expands the pension liability information to be included by government bodies in their annual financial statements. The most efficient way for PERS-participating employers to obtain the needed data is for PERS to provide it, but the costs of doing so needed specific statutory authorization. House Bill 4155 (2014 Regular Session) provided that authorization and directs the PERS Board to establish by rule procedures for recovering the additional actuarial and auditing costs associated with helping employers to comply with generally accepted accounting principles from investment earnings on employer contributions. This rule will clarify the process by which the GASB associated costs will be allocated to employers.
This rule will have no fiscal impact to PERS administration, the PERS Fund, or PERS members. There will be a fiscal impact to PERS employers, via a reduction in annual earnings crediting, in the amount necessary to cover the agency’s actual costs of providing the financial information PERS employers need to comply with new GASB standards and generally accepted accounting principles.

Draft Rule
459-007-0009


Federal Tax Reconnect

House Bill 4003 (2014 Regular Session) updated the connection date to the Internal Revenue Code and other provisions of federal tax law. In the bill, all the references to title 26 of the U.S. code have been updated to "as in effect on December 31, 2013." OAR 459-080-0250 regarding IAP account installments currently states "any distribution will be adjusted to comply with the required minimum distribution requirements of 26 U.S.C. 401(a)(9) and regulations implementing that section, as in effect August 29, 2003." The proposed rule modification updates the effective date to December 31, 2013.

Draft Rule
459-080-0250


Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP)

Several modifications to the administrative rules regarding the Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP) are being proposed to update the rules to reflect proposed improvements in the program.

Draft Rule
459-050-0025
459-050-0037
459-050-0075
459-050-0077


Selection of Preliminary Disability Benefit Option

PERS Tier One/Tier Two Program members who apply for a disability retirement are asked to complete a preliminary benefit option selection form. That form documents the member's retirement option selection in the event that the member dies before their application is approved. If the member had not made that selection, they would be considered to have died before retirement, therefore providing their beneficiary only with a death benefit under ORS 238.390 or 238.395 instead of them being considering a the survivor beneficiary of a disability retirement.

The Option 1 benefit pays a monthly retirement allowance only for the member's lifetime; upon death, no benefit is paid to any beneficiary. The proposed rule modification is to remove Option 1 as a preliminary option selection as, if it was selected, it provides no protection for a beneficiary should the member die before their disability retirement is approved. Upon approval of a disability claim, a disabled member may select Option 1 as their final benefit option using a disability benefit application form with the benefit option

Draft Rule
459-015-0055


Disability housekeeping

A review of our Oregon Administrative Rules pertaining to the administration of the Tier One/Tier Two disability program (Division 15) and the disability benefit paid under the OPSRP Pension Program (Division 76) revealed the need for some cleanup. For example, OAR 459-076-0010 of the OPSRP disability rules, adopted in 2005, contains an error in (4)(b) to incorrectly require either an "orthopedic specialist or neurosurgeon;" the proposed edits delete the erroneous phrase "or neurosurgeon." Also, OAR 459-015-0010(6) and sections (2) and (6) of OAR 459-076-0010 that deal with denying an application clarify the reasons that could be used for a denial. Other minor edits were made to the rules to improve readability and update citations.

Draft Rule
459-015-0010
459-076-0010

 
Rulemaking Schedule
OAR Title Notice to Board Public Hearing Public comment ends Expected adoption date
459-007-0010 HB4155 (GASB) 5/30/14 6/17/14
2 p.m.
7/3/14 7/25/14
459-080-0250 HB4003 (Federal tax law reconnect)   5/30/14 6/17/14
2 p.m.
7/3/14 7/25/14
459-015-0055 Selecto of Benefit Options   5/30/14 6/17/14
2 p.m.
7/3/14 7/25/14

459-050-0025
459-050-0037
459-050-0075
459-050-0077

OSGP

5/30/14

8/19/14
2 p.m.
7/3/14 7/25/14
459-005-0001 459-010-0003 459-010-0010 459-010-0035 459-070-0001 459-075-0010 Membership Eligibility 7/25/14 8/19/14
2 p.m.
9/5/14 3/31/149/26/14

459-015-0010
459-076-0010

Disability Housekeeping   5/30/14 6/17/14
2 p.m.
7/3/14 7/25/14