PERS offers several tools and programs mandated by the Oregon Legislature and PERS Board to help slow the increase in employer contribution rates.
Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA)
See Member Redirect.
For approved employers who make an eligible lump-sum payment of at least $25,000 into a new side account or as an additional payment into an existing side account (including any lump-sum payment made since June 2, 2018), the
EIF program matches 25% of that lump-sum amount, not to exceed the greater of either 5% of an employer’s unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) or $300,000.
Using PERS’ Employer Rate Projection Tool, employers can estimate their own potential employer contribution amounts and rates over the next several biennia. Employers may also use the tool to determine the potential financial impact of establishing a new side account.
The Member Redirect program (introduced by Senate Bill 1049 (2019)) eases employer rates by requiring PERS members to contribute to their future pensions. PERS members whose gross pay in a month exceeds the
monthly salary threshold in effect for that calendar year have a portion of their 6% Individual Account Program (IAP) contributions redirected to their Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). Each member’s invested EPSA will help fund their pension when they retire.
The Member Redirect salary threshold changes every January in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The program only operates when the PERS Fund is less than 90% funded.
The amount redirected depends on the member’’s PERS plan:
- Tier One/Two members — the redirected amount is
2.5% of the 6% contribution. The remaining 3.5% is deposited into the member’s IAP account.
- OPSRP members — the amount is
0.75% of the 6% contribution. The remaining 5.25% is deposited into the member’s IAP account.
Member Redirect salary threshold
2023 salary threshold:
$3,570/month (effective January 1, 2023)
2022 salary threshold: $3,333/month
2021 salary threshold: $2,535/month
2020 salary threshold: $2,500/month*
PERS members have the option to make up the redirected amount by choosing to make after-tax “voluntary contributions” to their IAP account. Members choose to start and stop voluntary contributions through their Online Member Services (OMS) account. Instructions are listed on the
How to Elect and Update IAP Voluntary Contributions Online webpage.
The redirect for eligible members happens behind the scenes in the PERS system. Employers report as usual, and the PERS system automatically processes the redirect when a member earns above the salary threshold.
When an employee opts into voluntary contributions in OMS, you receive a Work List item called “IAP Voluntary Contribution.” The Work List item provides the information needed to set up payroll deductions for the redirected percentage.
When an employee chooses to stop making voluntary contributions in OMS, you receive a Work List item called “Stop-IAP Voluntary Contribution.”
Member Redirect offset
Employers can see the impact of Member Redirect on their rate in their actuarial valuation. Look in the Executive Summary section, Employer Contribution Rates subsection, member redirect offset line item.
Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA) webpage for members
Tier One/Tier Two members webpage (for employees hired before August 29, 2003)
OPSRP members webpage (for employees hired after August 28, 2003)
Step-by-step guide: How to Manage an Employee’s Voluntary Contribution
Frequently Asked Questions on Voluntary Contributions for Employers
Member Redirect Voluntary Contributions Process Map: Employer View
Rate pooling allows individual employers to be grouped with other employers for the purpose of determining pension costs and contribution rates. Pooling stabilizes employer rates by spreading the cost of financial and demographic changes, such as a drop in fund earnings or payroll reductions, across multiple employers rather than assigning the entire cost to a single employer.
For more information, read the
Guide to Understanding Pooling.
The Salary Limit program limits the amount of an employee’s salary (including a rehired retiree) that PERS can use to calculate an employee’s PERS benefits; it does not limit an employee’s actual salary. The Salary Limit changes every January 1 based on the CPI. To calculate the salary limit for less than a full year of employment, go to
Salary Limit webpage.
School Districts Unfunded Liability Fund (SDULF)
The SDULF is a pooled side account that would provide rate relief to all public-school districts, public charter schools, and education service districts. At this time, PERS does not expect that employers would need to take any action to obtain rate relief from this fund; it will be automatic if and when the fund is sufficiently capitalized.
When you, an employer, make a lump-sum payment to prepay all or part of your pension unfunded actuarial liability (UAL), the money is placed in a special account called a “side account." This account is attributed solely to the employer making the payment and is held separate from other employer reserves. The money is invested in the
Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) and is subject to earnings and losses.
If you choose to hire (or continue employing) any PERS service retiree during 2020 through 2024,
most of those retirees (note the exceptions on the
SB 1049 Changes: Work After Retirements webpage) can work an unlimited number of hours in those calendar years while continuing to receive their pension benefit.
From 2020 through 2024, you are required to pay to PERS your
PERS employer contribution rate on any service retiree’s wages (the “PERS rate,” which includes applicable pension and post-retirement healthcare rates but not any IAP contributions) as if they were an active member.
The purpose of the UALRP is to provide resources and tools to educate employers about the different factors that affect their contribution rate, such as unfunded actuarial liability, actuarial valuation, and pooling. By understanding these factors, employers can create funding plans to manage their contribution rates.
For additional information about employer rate relief programs, side accounts, and other actuarial/financial topics, please email
Employers may also want to use PERS'
Employer Rate Projection Tool to determine the potential impact of establishing a new side account.