Judge Member’s Handbook includes information on all aspects of PERS benefits for judges, including contribution rates, benefit calculations, and participation in the Variable Annuity Program. You also can contact the PERS judge member coordinator with questions at 503-603-7778 or PERSJudge.COUNSELOR@pers.oregon.gov.
I see multiple accounts listed on my annual statement. As a judge member, am I also eligible for other pension benefits at retirement?
If you were a Tier One or Tier Two member before becoming a judge member, you retain any contributions made to your Tier One or Tier Two member account before becoming a judge member. Contributions after you become a judge member are placed in your judge member account. At retirement, you will receive benefits under each program.
You will only have an Individual Account Program (IAP) if you were a PERS member after 2004 before becoming a judge.
If you were an OPSRP member before becoming a judge member, your annual statement will also list retirement credit and vesting details about your OPSRP pension benefit. Please note that 2018 annual statements do not reflect information regarding Senate Bill 1546 (2018), which allows for judge service to count toward vesting requirements for OPSRP.
Which retirement calculation method will be
Your judge account is always calculated using the formulas provided by statute to compute your benefit, with a maximum benefit cap of 65 percent of final average salary under Plan A or 75 percent of final average salary under Plan B. See the Judge Member’s Handbook for a full
If you have a Tier One, Tier Two, or OPSRP account, your retirement benefit for those programs will be calculated under the relevant methods. PERS pays you based on the retirement calculation method that provides the highest benefit. Please see the Tier One/Tier Two or OPSRP annual statement FAQs for more information about those retirement benefits.
What does “vested status” mean? How do I become vested in the Judge Member Program?
Once you are vested in the Judge Member Program, you retain your judge member account even if you terminate employment as a judge member. You will be entitled to death benefits, a disability retirement allowance, or service retirement benefits if you meet statutory criteria.
you are vested when you (1) have made contributions to the Judge Member Fund in
each of five calendar years before reaching age 75 and (2) have not withdrawn
your judge account.
in the OPSRP Pension Program will follow the rules of that program.
Why is Judge service and Tier One/Tier Two service combined? (Judge and Tier One/Tier Two members only)
Unfortunately, the PERS system for generating annual statements cannot differentiate between judge service credit and Tier One/Tier Two service credit. However, all estimates and retirement benefits will factor your Tier One/Tier Two and judge service credit separately.
How can I get a retirement benefit estimate?
can produce an estimate online through your Online
Member Services (OMS) account. The online benefit estimator will use the
most recent data supplied by your employer(s) to produce an estimate for any
future retirement date. You can produce multiple benefit estimates with
different retirement dates. This could help you determine if you are on track
to meet your retirement goals.
will allow you to create benefit estimates for your Tier One, Tier Two, OPSRP,
and judge member accounts.
you are within 24 months of your retirement date, you can request a PERS benefit estimate
by submitting a Judge
Member Benefit Estimate Request form to PERS. Your benefit estimate may
provide information on possible purchases of service time you may want to make
at retirement, which could increase your benefit or provide extra service time
to allow you to retire sooner. We encourage you to get at least one benefit estimate from PERS before your retirement date.
How do I update my beneficiary?
can update your beneficiary at any time by submitting new beneficiary forms to
PERS. Any new valid designation form you submit will supersede your previous
designation. To update your judge member beneficiary, please submit the Pre-Retirement
Designation of Beneficiary form to PERS. If you retain membership in other
programs (such as Tier One/Tier Two, IAP), you will need to submit separate
beneficiary forms for each account. The forms are available under the Tier
One/Tier Two and IAP forms pages
of the PERS website.
Can I transfer out of the variable account
you have a judge variable account, you can request a one-time transfer to move
all funds out of the variable account into the regular account before retirement by filling out the
“one-time transfer” section of the PERS:
Judge Member Variable Annuity Program Participation form and submitting it
to PERS. You must meet age and eligibility requirements which are shown in the Judge Member’s Handbook.
must receive your election form by December 31 of the year the request is made.
The transfer becomes effective January 1 following the year in which PERS
receives your request, regardless of when the form is received. The election to
transfer your variable account is irrevocable. If you elect to make this
transfer, you no longer participate in the variable account, and you will not
receive a variable annuity at retirement. You will also have one opportunity at
retirement to transfer the money in your variable account into your regular
Can I change my contributions into the variable
a sitting judge with a judge variable account,
you also have the option of changing your contribution into the variable
account. Only judge members who were both sitting judges and participating in the Variable Annuity Program on June 30, 2003, may continue to make contributions to the variable account. You can choose to place 25
percent, 50 percent, or 75 percent of employee contributions
into the variable account or cancel all
future contributions on the PERS:
Judge Member Variable Annuity Program Participation form. All changes
become effective January 1 following the year in which PERS receives your request,
regardless of when the form is received.
participating in the Variable Annuity Program during retirement, PERS adjusts
the variable portion of your benefit every February 1. It is adjusted based on
earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.
Where can I get more help?
PERS judge member coordinator is happy to answer any questions about your PERS
retirement benefits and can be contacted via phone, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.
to 4 p.m., at 503-603-7507; or by email at PERS.Judge.COUNSELOR@pers.state.or.us.
Return to the Judge Members webpage.