This webpage provides an overview of Senate Bill (SB) 1049 and its six different programs. To jump to an overview, click the program name in the sidebar to the right.
The role of PERS
The Oregon Legislature is the “plan sponsor” for PERS, the system, and has the sole authority to determine the benefit structure for public employees. PERS, the agency, administers the retirement system (the “plan”) for participating public employers, and must follow all state and federal laws.
SB 1049 Overview
SB 1049, signed into law in 2019, makes several adjustments to PERS to slow the increase in employer contribution rates.
Employers will see the impact of SB 1049 on employer rates for the 2021–23 biennium. The 2019 Actuarial Valuation (reported in the
System-Wide 2019 Valuation Report) was used to set
2021–23 rates, explained in an individual valuation for each employer.
SB 1049 changes include the following, which are explained in more detail in the sections below and on related web pages:
UAL re-amortization: The PERS Board implemented a one-time re-amortization of the Tier One/Tier Two unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) over a closed 22-year period.
Employer rate-relief programs: The Employer Incentive Fund (EIF) and UAL Resolution Program (UALRP) are designed to motivate employers to reduce their future contribution rates and to provide more resources to help them manage rates over time. (The School Districts Unfunded Liability Fund (SDULF) is on hold until fully funded.)
Work After Retirement changes: For years 2020–24, the PERS limitation on hours that a rehired retiree can work is lifted (restrictions apply for some early retirees and some retirees receiving Social Security benefits). Employer contributions will be charged on the payroll of rehired retirees.
Salary Limit: Starting January 1, 2020,
Senate Bill 1049 changed the definition of "salary" for PERS purposes and set a limitation on subject salary used for PERS benefit calculations and contributions. The limit is updated to keep pace with inflation each January.
Member Redirect: Effective July 1, 2020, members whose gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold* will have a portion of their 6% Individual Account Program (IAP) contributions redirected to an Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). Each member’s EPSA will help fund their defined benefits under Tier One/Tier Two and OPSRP. For Tier One/Two members, the redirected amount is 2.5% of the 6% contributions; for OPSRP members, the amount is 0.75%.
*Read an explanation below about the salary threshold.
Member Choice: Every September, nonretired PERS members have the option of changing how their IAP accounts are invested via Online Member Services (OMS). With Member Choice, members can choose to stay in the fund assigned to them based on their birth year or select a different
target-date fund (TDF). The change goes into effect the following January.
>Partial-Year Salary Limits: Information for Employer Reporters webpage
2022 salary limit: $210,582/year (effective 1/1/2022)
2020 salary limit: $195,000/year
Starting January 1, 2020, SB 1049 changed the definition of “salary” for PERS purposes and created a new limitation* on subject salary used for PERS benefit calculations and contributions. PERS subject salary is used to determine:
- Member Individual Account Program (IAP) contributions.
- Employer contributions to fund the pension program.
- The Final Average Salary (FAS) used in calculating retirement benefits under formula methods.
SB 1049 limits the annual salary amount that PERS uses to calculate an employee’s PERS benefits — it does not limit an employee’s actual salary. It only applies to salary paid (and eligible Tier One/Tier Two lump-sum payments) in the year 2020 and beyond.
Note that if you employ a member (including a rehired retiree) for less than 12 months in a calendar year, the member’s subject salary will be limited based upon a
“partial year” average limit* (including any eligible lump-sum payments for Tier One/Tier Two members). The
Partial Year webpage includes a number of examples to help employers correctly report subject salary.
* The salary limit is updated each January to reflect changes in inflation and cost of living.
Member (IAP) Redirect (July 1, 2020)
>Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA) webpage
2022 salary requirement: $3,333/month (effective 1/1/2022)
2021 salary requirement: $2,535/month
2020 salary requirement: $2,500/month*
For all PERS members earning more than the salary requirement, a portion of their 6% IAP contributions are now redirected to a new Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). The funds in each member’s EPSA will be used to help pay for their future pension benefits. The Member Redirect is in effect when the PERS system is less than 90% funded**.
The IAP Redirect for eligible members happens behind the scenes in the PERS system. Employers will continue to report as usual and the PERS system will recognize if a member earns above the salary threshold.
There are different rates for Tier One/Tier Two and OPSRP employees who make more than the salary requirement each month:
Tier One/Tier Two members (hired before August 29, 2003)
2.5% of the employee’s salary that is currently contributed to their IAP (whether paid by the member or their employer) now goes into their EPSA. The remaining 3.5% of salary will continue to go to the member’s existing IAP account.
Members can voluntarily choose to make additional, after-tax contributions of 2.5% into their IAP, allowing their IAP account to remain
funded at 6%.
OPSRP members (hired after August 28, 2003)
0.75% of the employee’s salary that is currently contributed to the IAP (whether paid by the member or their employer) now goes into their EPSA. The remaining 5.25% of salary will continue to go into the member’s existing IAP account.
Members can voluntarily choose to make additional, after-tax contributions of 0.75% into their IAP, allowing their IAP account to remain funded at 6%.
* The salary requirement is updated each January to reflect changes in inflation and cost of living.
Voluntary Contributions and Employer Reporting
PERS Online Member Services (OMS) has been updated to give members the ability to elect to participate and make the SB 1049 “IAP voluntary contributions.”
Employers will be alerted through Work Items in EDX for all employees who elect to make voluntary contributions. Employers are responsible for deducting the amount from your employees’ paychecks.
>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
For your employees
You can direct members, based upon their pension plan, to the
Tier One/Tier Two or
OPSRP IAP redirect member webpages. These pages include animated videos that explain the two parts to a member’s future retirement and what changed with their IAP on July 1, 2020. There are also detailed instructions on how to elect IAP voluntary contributions.
>How to Make an IAP Target-Date Fund Election Online
Every September, nonretired PERS members have the option of changing how their IAP accounts are invested via Online Member Services (OMS). This allows members to pick a TDF for the upcoming year that better reflects their retirement savings goals or their risk tolerance.
Members should read:
- The step-by-step instructions about how to choose a different TDF in OMS.
IAP Target-Date Funds webpage, which includes important information about changing TDFs and the Oregon State Treasury document they must read before making a change (refer to the section “Can I change the IAP TDF in which I am invested?").
**The latest actuarial valuation shows that PERS' funded status including side accounts was 86% as of December 31, 2021.