MEMBERS

Tier One Interactive Example Statement

Tier Two Interactive Example Statement

Tier Two Zero Dollar Balance Interactive Example Statement

Member Annual Statement 2020


How should I read my member annual statement?

Check out the interactive example statement listed above that most closely matches your membership type. 

If you download and view the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, you can move your mouse around the examples and find helpful information associated with the sections highlighted (in green boxes) on the sample statements.

Your annual statement will provide three key points of information that are important for you to check: your date of birth, years of service, and Individual Account Program (IAP) information.

Read an article in the most recent April issue of Perspectives​ if you want to know why these three key points are so important.​




​​Tier One and Tier Two members working in qualifying positions after January 1, 2004, have two parts to their PERS retirement plans: a Tier One/Tier Two pension benefit and an Individual Account Program (IAP) account.

Watch a video that explains the two parts to your future retirement.

Pension
The regular account (pension) balance shown on your statement will be used to pay for a portion of your monthly pension benefit. If you elected to participate in the Variable Annuity Program, you will also see a variable account balance on your statement. Variable account balances are included in the calculation used to determine monthly pension benefits. See more under the heading “How does my variable account balance impact my monthly Tier One or Tier Two benefit payment?” below.

Your Tier One/Tier Two monthly pension benefit can be paid to you for your lifetime and to a beneficiary for the beneficiary’s lifetime, after you die, if you chose one. 

IAP
The other account balance you can see on your statement will be for your IAP. 

Since January 1, 2004, your PERS contributions (6% of your salary, whether paid by you or your employer) have gone into your IAP, which is invested in a target-date fund based on your year of birth. Before 2004, your contributions went into your Tier One/Tier Two account(s). 

As of July 1, 2020, if your gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold, a portion of your 6% contributions is redirected to the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). EPSA will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As a Tier One/Tier Two member, 2.5% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 3.5% will go to your existing IAP account.

Your IAP account balance can fluctuate, depending on investment gains and losses in your target-date fund. Unlike your pension, there is no guaranteed investment return for your IAP. 

The benefit from your IAP also is finite: The balance of your IAP account at the time you retire is more or less all* that you will have available from this account throughout your retirement. However, at retirement, you may choose how your IAP is paid to you: in a lump-sum rollover to a qualified plan or in installments* over various time periods.

(*If you choose to receive installments from your IAP in retirement, your account balance also may be credited with earnings or losses over time.)​​
​PERS uses three methods to calculate a Tier One monthly pension benefit amount and two methods to calculate a Tier Two monthly pension benefit amount. The calculation methods are:

  • Tier One – Full Formula, Formula Plus Annuity (only for eligible Tier One members​) and Money Match
  • Tier Two – Full Formula and Money Match

The highest amount produced by these calculations is what you will receive as your monthly pension benefit.

Here is how the calculations work:

Full Formula 
(Tier One and Tier Two)

Your years of service are multiplied by your final average salary and a set percentage. The percentage depends on your service type.

General service:
1.67% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit

Police and firefighters:
2% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit


Money Match 
(Tier One and Tier Two)
Your member account balance is matched by your employer, and the result is multiplied by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”).

Age factor × account balance × 2


Formula Plus Annuity
(only Tier One members who made contributions before August 21, 1981)

This method has two parts, the first of which is similar to Full Formula but uses a different set percentage. 

Your total from this first part is then added to an annuity payment, which is calculated by multiplying your member account balance by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”). This second part looks similar to the Money Match formula.

General service:
1% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance


Legislators, police, and firefighters:
1.35% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance

Notes and definitions:

  • Most Tier One/Tier Two members now retire under the Full Formula method. Tier Two members are unlikely to have Money Match result in their highest calculated benefit because their account balances are generally low (due to having fewer years of contributions into the member account before 2004, when contributions were diverted to the IAP).
  • Service credit is the number of months and years you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. A “qualifying” position is one in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year for one or more PERS-participating employers. Hours worked with different participating employers in the same calendar year are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for that year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn service time for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment. One month of service time is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.
  • In general, your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:
    • The average gross monthly salary that results from the three years in which you earned your highest total salaries from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year.
    • 1/36 of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.

You can create 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.

If your PERS account involves a divorce, you should request a written benefit estimate. OMS cannot correctly calculate a benefit estimate on an account with a divorce award. 

When you are within 24 months of the earliest date you are eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting a Tier One/Tier Two Estimate Request form. (Note: PERS processes benefit estimate requests in retirement-date order, with the earliest retirement dates first. Estimate processing time may vary from member to member, as each account is different, so we are unable to tell you exactly when your estimate will be completed.) 

Your PERS benefit estimate will provide information on service time purchases available to you 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 PERS benefit estimate before your retirement date, especially if you wish to purchase service time. OMS will not estimate the cost of purchases unless you have a completed benefit estimate. Note: Benefit estimates are just that – estimates. They are not a guarantee of benefits. 

Benefit estimates only include your Tier One or Tier Two retirement benefit. You can use the IAP Balance and Installment Calculator to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

When you retire as a participant in the Variable Annuity Program, you have the option of transferring your variable account balance into your regular account or keeping it in the variable program.

Funds in the Variable Annuity Program are invested completely in stocks, unlike the Oregon PERS Fund, which is invested in a more diverse set of assets. Your regular account is associated with the Oregon PERS Fund.

If you choose to remain in the variable program at retirement, a portion of your retirement benefit can change annually based on the ups and downs of stocks. The higher the percentage you originally chose (25%, 50% or 75%) to put into a variable account, the more money you will have exposed to stock market variation. You cannot retroactively change the percentage of your past contributions.

However, other portions of your monthly benefit will come from fixed sources: a pension funded by your employer and an annuity based on your regular account balance. It is only the portion of your pension based on your variable account that would fluctuate; having a variable component in your PERS retirement plan does mean your total monthly payment could vary over the course of your retirement. 

If you remain in the variable, once you are retired, PERS will adjust the variable portion of your monthly benefit every February 1. The adjustment is based on earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.

And if you originally opted into the variable program but continued working for a PERS-qualifying employer after January 1, 2004, contributions made after that date have gone into your Individual Account Program (IAP) account, rather than the variable program. Contributing to, or transferring new funds into, your variable account are no longer options.​

Yes. At or before the time you apply for retirement, you can request a one-time transfer to move all funds out of your variable account into your regular account by submitting a One-Time Variable Transfer: Active or Inactive Members​ form to PERS. You must meet the age and eligibility requirements listed on the form, and PERS must receive your election form by December 31 of the year in which the request is made. The transfer will become effective on January 1 of the following year.

This transfer, once effective, is permanent. It cannot be revoked, reversed, or undone. Once made, you will no longer have a variable account and will not receive a variable annuity benefit in your retirement. You can cancel your One-Time Variable Transfer request up until December 31 of the year in which the request is made. 

You may also choose to transfer out of the variable when you apply for retirement.

Earnings crediting for the previous year is typically determined in April of the following year. Tier One regular accounts receive the assumed earnings rate. Tier Two, Employee Pension Stability Account, and Individual Account Program (IAP) accounts receive earnings based on investment returns minus administrative expenses. Tier Two, EPSA, and IAP accounts are subject to earnings or losses.

Earnings crediting is only visible in Online Member Services after earnings have been applied to accounts each spring.

​No. The Oregon PERS Fund (OPERF) is managed by Oregon State Treasury​ under the direction of the Oregon Investment Council. OPERF investment returns are posted monthly. More information about the fund and its investments is available on PERS’ Actuarial/Financial Information webpage.​​​​

Yes. As of September 2020, nonretired members are able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, directing which IAP Target-Date Funds they want their funds invested. This is called a Member Choice election.
 
Any eligible choice made by the annual September 30 deadline will go into effect January 1 of the following year. For example, if you changed your TDF in September 2020, it became effective on January 1, 2021, and you will see the change reflected on your 2021 member annual statement, which will be mailed in spring 2022.

For more information about how to change your TDF, go to the IAP Target-Date Funds webpage.


Fill out a Tier One/Tier Two Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to select or update your Tier One/Tier Two beneficiary before retirement. New beneficiary designations supersede all past selections.

If you have worked for a PERS-participating employer after January 1, 2004, you will also need to submit the IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to PERS to update your Individual Account Program (IAP) beneficiary before you retire. 

If you wish to change your beneficiary as the result of a divorce before retirement, your ability to do so may depend on what your divorce decree allows. See PERS’ Get Divorced webpage for more information.

You cannot name a beneficiary for your Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). Any EPSA balance available to be paid to a beneficiary at the time of your passing would be paid to your IAP beneficiary.

When you apply for retirement

At the time you file your PERS retirement application, you can choose anyone – but only one person – as your beneficiary, if you would like a survivorship pension option to be paid for your lifetime and for a beneficiary’s lifetime. More information on the options are available in the Pre-Retirement Guide​.

Yes, if you meet the following conditions:

  • One full calendar month has passed since the month in which you stopped working for your last PERS-participating employer, and you have not worked for any other PERS-participating employer since. This includes substitute, temporary, and on-call positions.

To request a withdrawal, you must submit a completed Tier One/Tier Two Member Withdrawal Application form.

The amount of your withdrawal(s) will be the total of your Tier One/Tier Two, Employee Pension Stability Account, and Individual Account Program (IAP) account balance(s) at the time of withdrawal. Withdrawals will not include matching funds from your employer, and you cannot withdraw these accounts separately. If you want to withdraw one, you must withdraw all accounts, which will end your membership in PERS.

By ending your membership, you forfeit all membership rights and future benefits provided by PERS. This forfeiture means you will not receive any PERS pension benefits upon retirement, even if you were fully vested at the time you elected the withdrawal.

Keep in mind if you withdraw before age 59 ½, you could be subject to an additional income tax penalty. 

For more information, go to PERS’ Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information webpage.

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about PERS retirement benefits from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online. 

Education sessions

PERS also offers group education workshops that cover membership, benefits, and retirement information. These workshops are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Expanded workshops that include financial planning information also are available. 

To learn more, go to PERS’ Tier One/Tier Two Education Presentations webpage. 

Your employer also can request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center.

Retirement application help

When you are within 90 days of your PERS retirement date, you can attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This 45-minute, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Be advised that PERS staff cannot advise or counsel you about your decision to retire nor which benefit distribution options to choose.

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, education workshops, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.​​​​

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Forest Protective Association Employees Service 

  • A Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can purchase this service time if he/she was an employee of the Forest Protective Association and transferred directly to employment with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
  • The member pays the cost of his/her contributions and the employer’s contributions, plus interest that would have accrued to the date of purchase.
  • May purchase all or part of service time if he/she was a member before January 1, 2000, or up to five years if he/she was a member on or after January 1, 2000.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • No minimum service required unless PERS membership was established on or after January 1, 2000; then 60 calendar months of membership is required.
  • The purchase can be made any time before retirement.

Alternate Purchase of Military Service Time

  • A Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can purchase up to four years of military time served on or after January 1, 1950, and before coming to work for a PERS employer.
  • Must have been honorably discharged.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • The purchase must represent the full cost to the system for providing additional retirement credit.

    For more information read: Full-cost purchases: Questions & Answers.
  • Member cannot be eligible for or be receiving benefits for this retirement credit from the military or under any other PERS statute.
  • Member must make purchase before retirement date if service time is needed to qualify for retirement.
  • The purchase must be made within 90 days of the retirement date.
  • No minimum service required.
 

Out-of-State School Service Time  

 

Non-PERS Police and Fire Service Time

  • The member must complete and return the Certification of Non-Participating Oregon PERS Employer for Police or Firefighter form before an estimate can be completed.
  • Must have been employed as a police officer or firefighter and service must have been with an Oregon public employer that was not participating in PERS.
  • A Tier One/Tier Two active member can purchase up to 10 years of service if PERS membership was established before January 1, 2000; can purchase five years of service if PERS membership was established on or after January 1, 2000.
  • The member pays the cost of his/her contributions and the employer’s contributions plus 8 percent interest to the retirement date.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • Employee must have left service with employer before employer joined PERS.
  • Employee must be in a police officer or firefighter position at the time of purchase.
  • May purchase up to the 10-year limit (or part), but there is only one opportunity to make this purchase.
  • No minimum service required unless PERS membership occurred on or after January 1, 2000; then 60 calendar months of membership is required.
  • The purchase can be made anytime before retirement.
 

​​Why are there multiple accounts listed on my annual statement?

All Tier One and Tier Two members who have worked in a qualifying position after January 1, 2004, have both a Tier One/Tier Two monthly benefit and an Individual Account Program (IAP) benefit. The balance in your Regular Account shown on your statement will be used to pay for a portion of your monthly benefit; if you chose to contribute to the Variable Account, that balance will also be used and could affect the amount of your monthly benefit. If you participate in the Variable Annuity Program, see this question below. Your Tier One or Tier Two monthly benefit can be paid for your lifetime, and for a beneficiary’s life as well if you choose to add one.

Your IAP account balance is also listed on your annual statement. Your PERS contributions (6 percent of your salary, whether paid by you or your employer) from January 1, 2004, forward have gone into your IAP (contributions you made before 2004 went into your Tier One or Tier Two account). The IAP is then subject to investment earnings and losses and has no guaranteed investment return. At retirement, the distribution you will receive is based on your account balance, which you may choose to roll over into a qualified plan or choose to have the balance paid in installments over various time periods.

How is my Tier One/Tier Two defined benefit (pension) calculated?

PERS uses three methods to calculate a Tier One monthly benefit amount and two methods to calculate a Tier Two monthly benefit amount; members receive the highest monthly benefit that results from these calculations.

For Tier One and Tier Two members, the calculation methods are:

Full Formula Method

For general service members:

1.67 percent × years of accrued service time × final average salary

For police and firefighter members:

2 percent × years of accrued service time × final average salary

Formula Plus Annuity Method (Tier One only, available to those who made contributions before August 21, 1981)

This benefit uses a formula similar to the Full Formula Method to compute the employer portion of your benefit. For general service members, multiply 1 percent of your final average salary by your years of accrued service time. Legislators, police, and firefighters should multiply 1.35 percent of final average salary by years of accrued service time. The total of the calculation will be added to an annuity payment based on your member account balance and life expectancy of people your age.

Money Match

Your employer matches your member account balance by an equal amount. From that total, a monthly payment amount is then calculated based on life expectancy for people of your age.

Notes and definitions:

Most Tier One/Tier Two members retire under the Full Formula Method. Tier Two members are unlikely to have Money Match result in their highest calculated benefit because their account balances are generally low (due to having fewer years of contributions into the member account before 2004, when contributions were diverted to the IAP).

Accrued service time (also called creditable service, retirement credit, or service credit) is the number of months and years you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. A “qualifying” position is a position in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year for a PERS-participating employer or employers. Hours worked with different participating employers in the same calendar year are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for that year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn service time for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment.

One month of service time is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.

Your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:

  1. your average gross salary earned over the three calendar years in which you received the largest total salary from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year; or
  2. one-third of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.

How can I get a retirement benefit estimate?

You can create 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.

When you are within 24 months of the earliest date you are eligible to retire, you can request a written estimate by submitting an Estimate Request form to PERS. If you need a copy of this form mailed to you, contact Member Services.

Your written estimate will provide information on service time purchases available to you 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 written estimate before your retirement date. Please note that OMS generally will not give purchase information unless a written estimate has been completed. Please also note that any information provided in the estimate is not guaranteed.

These estimates only include your Tier One or Tier Two retirement benefit. You can use the IAP Disbursement Forecaster​​​ to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

How does my variable account balance impact my monthly Tier One or Tier Two benefit payment?

Members who elected to participate in the Variable Annuity Program initially chose a percentage (25, 50, or 75 percent) of future contributions to be directed to their variable account. The variable account can have earnings or losses. Each person has a different proportion of his/her contribution into the variable account and therefore has a different level of earnings or losses over time. If you choose to remain in the Variable Annuity Program after retirement, the variable annuity portion of your retirement benefit will increase or decrease annually based on the performance of the variable fund.

As of January 1, 2004, you cannot contribute or transfer funds to the variable account, as contributions are now made into the IAP, and you cannot change the percentage of your past contributions.

Can I transfer out of the variable account?

You can request a One-Time Variable Transfer to move all funds out of your variable account into your regular Tier One or Tier Two account before retirement by submitting the One-Time Variable Transfer: Active or Inactive Members form to PERS. You must meet age and eligibility requirements listed on the form, and PERS 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 make this transfer, you no longer participate in the variable account, and you will not receive a variable annuity at retirement.

You also will have the opportunity at retirement to transfer all the money in your variable account into your regular account. For more information, click here.

If you instead continue to participate in the Variable Annuity Program during retirement, PERS will adjust the variable portion of your monthly benefit every February 1. The adjustment is based on earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.

How is interest applied to my account?

Earnings crediting for the previous year is usually determined in March of the following year. Tier One regular accounts receive the assumed earnings rate (7.5 percent for 2016). Tier Two and IAP accounts receive earnings based on investment returns minus administrative expenses. Tier Two and IAP accounts are subject to earnings or losses. For 2016 earnings crediting, click here.

Can I choose where my account is invested?

No. The Oregon PERS Fund (OPERF) is managed by the Oregon State Treasury under the direction of the Oregon Investment Council. OPERF investment returns are posted monthly. More information on the fund and a complete list of investment information is available under the Actuarial/Financial section of the PERS website.

How do I update my beneficiary?

You can contact Member Services to confirm your beneficiary on file.

You can update your beneficiaries at any time by submitting new beneficiary forms to PERS. Any new designation form you submit will supersede your previous designation. To update your Tier One/Tier Two account beneficiary, please submit the Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to PERS. If you have worked for a PERS-covered employer after January 1, 2004, please also submit the IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to PERS if you want to update your Individual Account Program (IAP) beneficiary.

I no longer work for a PERS employer. Can I withdraw my money?

You may withdraw your PERS accounts if you:

  1. have stopped working for all PERS-covered employers for at least one calendar month following the month of your separation,
  2. are not eligible for PERS retirement, and
  3. submit a completed Member Account Withdrawal Application.

The amount of your withdrawal(s) will be the total of your Tier One/Tier Two and/or IAP account balance(s) at the time of withdrawal. You cannot withdraw just one account; you must withdraw them all and terminate your membership in PERS.

Withdrawals do not include an employer match of dollars. By withdrawing your account(s), you forfeit all membership rights and future benefits provided by PERS.

If you withdraw prior to reaching age 59 1/2, you may be subject to an additional income tax penalty.

If you are vested, withdrawing your member account(s) forfeits your eligibility for Tier One/Tier Two monthly benefits or a lump-sum payment at retirement.

For more information, see the Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information page of the PERS website.

Where can I get more help?

Our Member Services team is happy to answer any questions about your PERS retirement benefits and can be contacted via phone, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., at 888-320-7377; online; or by email at Customer-Service.PERS@state.or.us.

PERS also offers group education sessions that provide information on membership, benefits, and retirement. These sessions are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Your employer can also request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center. See the full schedule, including opportunities to attend presentations with financial planning information, on the Tier One/Tier Two Education Presentations page of the PERS website.

When you are within 90 days of retirement, you can also attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This one-hour, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Please note that a RAAS is not a counseling session to help you make a decision to retire.

​​Tier One and Tier Two members working in qualifying positions after January 1, 2004, have two parts to their PERS retirement plans: a Tier One/Tier Two pension benefit and an Individual Account Program (IAP) account.

Watch a video that explains the two parts to your future retirement.

Pension
The regular account (pension) balance shown on your statement will be used to pay for a portion of your monthly pension benefit. If you elected to participate in the Variable Annuity Program, you will also see a variable account balance on your statement. Variable account balances are included in the calculation used to determine monthly pension benefits. See more under the heading “How does my variable account balance impact my monthly Tier One or Tier Two benefit payment?” below.

Your Tier One/Tier Two monthly pension benefit can be paid to you for your lifetime and to a beneficiary for the beneficiary’s lifetime, after you die, if you chose one. 

IAP
The other account balance you can see on your statement will be for your IAP. 

Since January 1, 2004, your PERS contributions (6% of your salary, whether paid by you or your employer) have gone into your IAP, which is invested in a target-date fund based on your year of birth. Before 2004, your contributions went into your Tier One/Tier Two account(s). 

As of July 1, 2020, if your gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold, a portion of your 6% contributions is redirected to the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). EPSA will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As a Tier One/Tier Two member, 2.5% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 3.5% will go to your existing IAP account.

Your IAP account balance can fluctuate, depending on investment gains and losses in your target-date fund. Unlike your pension, there is no guaranteed investment return for your IAP. 

The benefit from your IAP also is finite: The balance of your IAP account at the time you retire is more or less all* that you will have available from this account throughout your retirement. However, at retirement, you may choose how your IAP is paid to you: in a lump-sum rollover to a qualified plan or in installments* over various time periods.

(*If you choose to receive installments from your IAP in retirement, your account balance also may be credited with earnings or losses over time.)​​

You are an OPSRP member if you were first hired by a PERS-participating employer after August 28, 2003.​

OPSRP has two parts: your pension and your Individual Account Program (IAP).

Watch a video​ that explains the two parts to your future retirement.

Your OPSRP pension is primarily funded by your employer and can provide a lifetime monthly benefit at retirement for eligible employees. Because your pension is a defined benefit, this portion of your retirement does not have an account balance. Instead, PERS uses some simple math to determine the pension you will be paid as a retiree.

To calculate your monthly pension benefit at retirement, PERS uses your salary, how long you worked for a PERS-participating employer(s), and a percentage set by the Oregon Legislature. See more about this calculation under the heading “How is my retirement benefit calculated?” below.

Your IAP, however, does have an account balance. You, or your employer on your behalf, make a 6% contribution* based on your salary to your IAP. That account balance grows over time, based on the investment returns of your IAP Target-Date Fund.

At retirement, you can choose to receive your IAP balance in a lump sum; in equal installments spread over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years; or in installments over your expected lifetime.

As of July 1, 2020, if your gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold​, a portion of your 6% contributions is redirected to the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). EPSA will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As an OPSRP member, 0.75% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 5.25% will go to your existing IAP account.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

P&F units are an additional benefit, separate from the Tier One/Tier Two pension and the Individual Account Program (IAP), that a Tier One or Tier Two police officer or firefighter may purchase using after-tax dollars. 

Purchasing units creates a unit account, which will provide a monthly income after retirement for a period of five years. This income will partially be paid by your employer as long as you receive all payments from the account by age 65.​

If you are no longer employed by a PERS-participating employer, you may choose to “withdraw” the member contributions and earnings that have accumulated in your Individual Account Program (IAP), as long as certain conditions have been met. Doing so completely cancels your membership in OPSRP/PERS.

Remember that, as a public employee in OPSRP, you have two parts to your retirement benefit: a pension and your IAP.

Find the full, legal requirements of “withdrawal” in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 238A.120.​​​​​

If you withdraw on or after July 1, 2020, and later are reemployed by a PERS-participating employer: 
  • Any retirement credit you accrued before you withdrew is lost. 
  • You will need to reestablish membership after serving another six-month waiting period.
  • You will only vest​ in your OPSRP pension after again working at least 600 hours in five calendar years in a PERS qualifying position (or working in a PERS qualifying position on or after your 65th birthday).
Tier One and Tier Two members working in qualifying positions after January 1, 2004, have two parts to their PERS retirement plans: a Tier One/Tier Two pension benefit and an Individual Account Program (IAP) account.

Watch a video that explains the two parts to your future retirement.

Pension
The regular account (pension) balance shown on your statement will be used to pay for a portion of your monthly pension benefit. If you elected to participate in the Variable Annuity Program, you will also see a variable account balance on your statement. Variable account balances are included in the calculation used to determine monthly pension benefits. See more under the heading “How does my variable account balance impact my monthly Tier One or Tier Two benefit payment?” below.

Your Tier One/Tier Two monthly pension benefit can be paid to you for your lifetime and to a beneficiary for the beneficiary’s lifetime, after you die, if you chose one. 

IAP
The other account balance you can see on your statement will be for your IAP. 

Since January 1, 2004, your PERS contributions (6%* of your salary, whether paid by you or your employer) have gone into your IAP, which is invested in a target-date fund based on your year of birth. Before 2004, your contributions went into your Tier One/Tier Two account(s). 

Your IAP account balance can fluctuate, depending on investment gains and losses in your target-date fund. Unlike your pension, there is no guaranteed investment return for your IAP. 

The benefit from your IAP is finite: The balance of your IAP account at the time you retire is all that you will have available from this account throughout your retirement. However, at retirement, you may choose how your IAP is paid to you: in a lump-sum rollover to a qualified plan or in installments over various time periods.

*Note: Starting July 1, 2020, if you are currently employed and make more than $2,500 a month, a portion of your 6% contributions will be redirected to a new Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA), which will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As a Tier One/Tier Two member, 2.5% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 3.5% will go to your existing IAP account.

​​​
You may have received one of these statements for a few reasons:​

  • You retired before 2011.
  • You withdrew the value of your pension account.
  • PERS is reviewing your account information and membership status.

If you retired before 2011 …

… you were not required to take distributions from your IAP when you retired from your pension. The requirement to retire from both an IAP account and a pension, whether Tier One, Tier Two or Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP), did not begin until January 1, 2011. 

Consequently, if you retired prior to 2011 but left your IAP intact, you will continue to get IAP-only annual statements until you submit a retirement application for your IAP. 

As a pre-2011 retiree, you have the option to retire from the IAP at any time.

 

If you previously withdrew your pension account …

… but did not or could not withdraw your IAP account balance at that time, you may still have an IAP account balance. 

If you are eligible to retire (see eligibility criteria for Tier One/Tier Two or OPSRP) and want to receive funds from your IAP (in a lump sum or installments), you can apply to retire from your IAP, provided you are no longer working for any PERS-participating employers. 

If you are not yet eligible to retire and want to cash out your IAP, you can apply to withdraw your IAP balance. You must have stopped working for all PERS-participating employers for at least one calendar month. 

Remember: PERS staff cannot provide financial planning advice, including whether to leave your money in your IAP account or to take distributions if you are no longer working for a PERS-participating employer. To learn about how your IAP is invested, visit Oregon.gov/IAP.

 

PERS is analyzing your account …

… because your employer may have submitted incomplete or inaccurate information. When potential omissions or errors surface, PERS must review your eligibility and membership status. For example, PERS may need to check your employment dates with your PERS-participating employer(s) to see if you are correctly classified as a Tier One/Tier Two or OPSRP member. 

The goal of these reviews is to ensure the accuracy of your account and membership information so that we can help you avoid confusion about what your retirement benefits are and help you avoid any surprises when you apply for retirement. 

You can also review pension information through Online Member Services (OMS). 

For more information, contact Member Services via phone or email. ​​​​​​​​​
You may be eligible for additional retirement benefits, and here’s how:

Judge members who previously belonged to Tier One or Tier Two keep the contributions made to those accounts prior to judge membership. However, once becoming a judge member, contributions are made to your judge-member account. At retirement, you will receive benefits under each program.

Note: If you are a judge member and a Tier One/Tier Two member, you may see service credit for these two membership types combined on your statement. The technology PERS uses for generating annual statements cannot separate these. However, when you request a benefit estimate or apply for retirement, PERS will separate your service credits while calculating the monthly pension benefits you will receive from each membership type.

Judges who previously belonged to the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP) can similarly receive benefits from OPSRP and their judge membership. These members will see OPSRP pension retirement credit and vesting details on their annual statements. However, please note that 2019 annual statements do not accurately reflect information regarding Senate Bill 1546 (2018), which allows for judge service to count toward vesting requirements for OPSRP.

Some judge members also may see account information about the Individual Account Program (IAP). IAP accounts only apply if you were a PERS member (Tier One/Two or OPRSP) before you became a judge, and only if your PERS membership started after 2004.

 

Out-of-State Police Service Time (full-cost purchase) 

  • The member must complete and return the Certification of Out-of-State Police Officer form before an estimate can be completed.
  • A Tier One/Tier Two active police officer can purchase up to four years of service for employment as a public safety officer in another state.
  • The member pays the actuarial full cost of a benefit.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • Cannot be eligible for nor be receiving retirement benefits from that employment.
  • Member must be in a PERS-covered public safety position at retirement.
  • Member must provide a written verification to PERS from the other state or political subdivision verifying the period of employment.
  • Member must make the purchase before his/her retirement date if service time is needed to qualify for retirement.
  • No minimum service time required. 
 

Special Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association (TRFA) Refund

  • The employee must have taken a withdrawal from TRFA before employer joined PERS.
  • A Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can purchase all service forfeited by withdrawal.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • Purchase required for all refunded TRFA time.
  • Requires 10 years creditable service in the field of education to make this purchase.
  • The purchase must be made within 90 days before retirement date.
  • The member must pay the amount withdrawn plus the interest that would have accrued to the retirement date.

Forfeited Service Due to Prior Withdrawal (refunded time)

  • A PERS Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can pay back the withdrawn amount plus 7.5 percent interest compounded annually from refund to retirement date.
  • An OPSRP Pension Program member cannot purchase Tier One/Tier Two forfeited service.
  • Requires 10 years of creditable service since reemployment.
  • Service time under a loss-of-membership account is not eligible for purchase.
  • Can purchase one month of forfeited service for each three months of creditable service earned since reentry into PERS.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • Cannot select a lump-sum settlement retirement option if he/she makes this purchase.
  • The purchase must be made within 90 days before retirement date.

Credit of military service under Veteran’s Reemployment Rights Act 

  • There is no cost to the member; this provides retirement credit only.
  • For employees of a PERS-participating employer who served in the Uniformed Services and were reemployed before December 12, 1994.
  • No minimum service is required.
  • Contact the Accounts Reconciliation Team at PO Box 23700, Tigard, OR 97281-3700 for more information.
  • PERS requires a copy of the members DD214 to determine eligibility to make this purchase.
 

​What is the OPSRP Pension Program?

You are an OPSRP member if you were first hired by a PERS employer after August 28, 2003.

OPSRP has two components: the Pension Program and the Individual Account Program (IAP).

Your Pension Program retirement benefit is a monthly benefit determined by your salary, how long you work for a PERS-covered employer(s), and a multiplier set by the Oregon Legislature (see “How is my retirement benefit calculated?” below). The OPSRP Pension Program is funded by your employer and provides a lifetime monthly benefit at retirement for eligible employees.

Why do I only have an account balance listed under the IAP account information?

The IAP is the second part of your retirement plan. Six percent of your salary (whether contributed by you or paid by your employer) goes into your IAP.

The distribution you will receive from your IAP is based on your account balance, which is credited with earnings or losses annually based on investment returns.

At retirement, you may be able to roll over your IAP balance into a qualified plan or take disbursements over various time periods.

What does “vested status” mean?

Vested status means you cannot lose your right to your retirement benefit unless you withdraw from the program.

How do I become vested in the OPSRP Pension Program?

You become vested on the earliest date in which you complete at least 600 hours of service in a qualifying position in each of five calendar years. The years do not have to be consecutive, but there cannot be a gap in qualifying employment with a PERS employer for more than five years. You can also become vested if you are an active member at any time on or after reaching normal retirement age (age 65 for general service members and age 60 for police and firefighter members).

You are automatically vested in the IAP as soon as you begin contributions into your IAP account (typically six months after your hire date).

How is my retirement benefit calculated?

If you are vested in the OPSRP Pension Program and retire at normal retirement age, you can receive a monthly benefit for life. The pension benefit is calculated as follows:

For general service members:

1.5 percent × years of retirement credit × final average salary

For police and firefighter members:

1.8 percent × years of retirement credit × final average salary

Retirement credit (also called creditable service, accrued service time, or service credit) is the number of months and years you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. A “qualifying” position is a position in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year for a PERS-participating employer or employers. Hours worked with different participating employers in the same calendar year are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for that year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn retirement credit for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment.

One month of retirement credit is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.

Your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:

  1. your average gross salary earned over the three consecutive calendar years in which you received the largest total salary from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year; or

  2. one-third of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.

As an example, for a general service member with a 30-year career or a police and firefighter member with a 25-year career, the OPSRP pension benefit will provide 45 percent of the member’s final average salary at retirement, payable as a lifetime monthly pension. You can use the calculation method above to find the percent of your salary that will be payable as a lifetime pension for fewer years of service.

How can I get a retirement benefit estimate?

You 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.

When you are within 24 months of the earliest date you are eligible to retire, you can request a written estimate by submitting the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP) Estimate Request form to PERS. If you need a copy of the form mailed to you, contact Member Services.

These estimates only include your OPSRP pension benefit. You can use the IAP Disbursement Forecaster​ to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

How do I name my IAP beneficiary?

Naming a beneficiary is one of the most important things you should do as a PERS member.

If you haven’t already done so, please fill out an IAP: Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary: Married or Single Applicant form to name someone to receive your benefits should you die before withdrawing your account or retiring. Sending in a new form with an updated beneficiary will supersede any previous forms. You can contact Member Services to find out your current IAP beneficiary on file.

Do I have a beneficiary for my OPSRP pension benefit?

For your OPSRP Pension Program, if you die before retirement, PERS will only pay a death benefit to your spouse, your former spouse under a court judgment, or to any other person constitutionally required to be treated in the same manner as a spouse for the purpose of retirement benefits. No other beneficiary can be chosen before retirement. For more information, click here.

Can I withdraw my account?

There are slightly different criteria for being able to withdraw your IAP account or your OPSRP pension benefit.

Individual Account Program

You can withdraw your IAP account balance if you:

  1. have stopped working for all PERS-covered employers for at least one calendar month following the month of your separation,

  2. are not yet eligible for PERS retirement, and

  3. submit a completed Member Account Withdrawal Application.

It is a personal decision whether to leave your money in your IAP account if you are no longer working in a qualifying position with a PERS-covered employer. While you were employed, your IAP account received an annual contribution of 6 percent of your salary. Once you stop working, no additional contributions will be made to your account, and the balance will continue to be credited with earnings or losses, depending on investment returns. To learn about how the Oregon PERS Fund is managed and invested, visit the Actuarial/Financial section of the PERS website.

OPSRP Pension Program

You can withdraw your OPSRP pension benefit if you:

  1. have stopped working for all PERS-covered employers for at least one calendar month following the month of your separation,

  2. are not yet eligible for PERS retirement, and

  3. the actuarial equivalent (a calculation based on the benefit earned so far and the life expectancy of people your age) of your pension benefit is $5,000 or less, and

  4. submit a completed Member Account Withdrawal Application.

If you withdraw your account and then return to work for a PERS-covered employer in a qualifying position, any retirement credit earned before you withdrew your account is lost. You will need to complete another waiting period to re-establish membership.

If you withdraw prior to reaching age 59 1/2, you may be subject to an additional income tax penalty.

If you are vested and do not withdraw, you will be eligible for lifetime monthly benefit payments at retirement and distribution of the IAP.

For more information, see the Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information page of the PERS website.

Where can I get more help?

Our Member Services team is happy to answer any questions about your PERS retirement benefits and can be contacted via phone, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., at 888-320-7377; online; or by email at Customer-Service.PERS@state.or.us.

PERS also offers group education sessions that provide information on membership, benefits, and retirement. These sessions are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Your employer can also request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center. See the full schedule and opportunities to attend a presentation with financial planning information on the OPSRP Education Presentations page of the PERS website.

When you are within 90 days of retirement, you can also attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This one-hour, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides you an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Please note that a RAAS is not a counseling session to assist you in making a decision to retire. 

​PERS uses three methods to calculate a Tier One monthly pension benefit amount and two methods to calculate a Tier Two monthly pension benefit amount. The calculation methods are:

  • Tier One – Full Formula, Formula Plus Annuity (only for eligible Tier One members​) and Money Match
  • Tier Two – Full Formula and Money Match

The highest amount produced by these calculations is what you will receive as your monthly pension benefit.

Here is how the calculations work:

Full Formula 
(Tier One and Tier Two)

Your years of service are multiplied by your final average salary and a set percentage. The percentage depends on your service type.

General service:
1.67% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit

Police and firefighters:
2% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit


Money Match 
(Tier One and Tier Two)
Your member account balance is matched by your employer, and the result is multiplied by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”).

Age factor × account balance × 2


Formula Plus Annuity
(only Tier One members who made contributions before August 21, 1981)

This method has two parts, the first of which is similar to Full Formula but uses a different set percentage. 

Your total from this first part is then added to an annuity payment, which is calculated by multiplying your member account balance by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”). This second part looks similar to the Money Match formula.

General service:
1% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance


Legislators, police, and firefighters:
1.35% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance

Notes and definitions:

  • Most Tier One/Tier Two members now retire under the Full Formula method. Tier Two members are unlikely to have Money Match result in their highest calculated benefit because their account balances are generally low (due to having fewer years of contributions into the member account before 2004, when contributions were diverted to the IAP).
  • Service credit is the number of months and years you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. A “qualifying” position is one in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year for one or more PERS-participating employers. Hours worked with different participating employers in the same calendar year are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for that year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn service time for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment. One month of service time is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.
  • In general, your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:
    • The average gross monthly salary that results from the three years in which you earned your highest total salaries from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year.
    • 1/36 of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.


While OPSRP has two parts — your pension and your Individual Account Program (IAP) — your IAP is the only account-based benefit in your retirement plan. 

What “account-based” means is that contributions are deposited into an account and invested for you, over time, to help build a pot of money for your retirement. Your PERS contributions (6% of your salary, whether paid by you or your employer) have gone into your IAP, which is invested in a target-date fund based on your year of birth.

As of July 1, 2020, if your gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold, a portion of your 6% contributions is redirected to the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). EPSA will be used to pay for part of your future pension benefit. As an OPSRP member, 0.75% of your 6% contributions will go into your EPSA. The remaining 5.25% will go to your existing IAP account.

When you retire, the distribution you receive from your IAP will be based on your total account balance. You will not receive more than this balance, whether you choose to take it in a lump sum or installments. 

Factors that affect the balance you have include: 

  • Changes in your salary while you are working. For example, as your salary increases over time, so too will the amount of your contributions.  

  • Investment returns, based on your IAP Target-Date Fund. 

Meanwhile, the pension portion of your retirement is what’s called a defined benefit. That means the money you will receive from your pension is not set by the balance of an individual account but rather is defined by other means. At PERS, it is determined by a mathematical formula established by law. The formula uses your salary, how long you worked for a PERS-participating employer(s), and a percentage set by the Oregon Legislature. See how the calculation works under the heading “How is my retirement benefit calculated?” below.

Because your pension is “defined” in this way, it is correct that your statement only shows a balance for your IAP account and not one for your pension component.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Yes. It will be credited annually with the same earnings as your regular member account.​​​

​If you are vested in your OPSRP pension and vested in the IAP, and your effective withdrawal date is July 1, 2020, or later, you will:

1. Receive the value of your IAP account.

2. Receive the value of your Optional Employer Contribution account (if your employer participates and you are vested in those optional contributions).

​Note that different vesting rules apply if your employer made contributions to the Optional Employer Contributions account; see ORS 238A.340 and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 459-080-0050.

3. Receive the value of your Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). 

​Note: EPSA accounts began on July 1, 2020. As an OPSRP member, you will contribute 0.75% of subject salary to your EPSA account if your gross pay in a month is more than the monthly salary threshold.

4. Completely cancel your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System.

  • This includes forfeiting any right to a pension benefit you may have earned as of your effective withdrawal date and losing all retirement credit you previously earned​.


If you are not vested in your OPSRP pension and you withdraw, you will:

1. Receive the value of your IAP account, but not any unvested Optional Employer Contributions, if your employer participates.

2. Receive the value of your Employee Pension Stability Account.

3. Lose any retirement credit, as you are completely canceling your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System.​

PERS uses three methods to calculate a Tier One monthly pension benefit amount and two methods to calculate a Tier Two monthly pension benefit amount. The calculation methods are:
  • Tier One – Full Formula, Formula Plus Annuity (only for some Tier One members) and Money Match

  • Tier Two – Full Formula and Money Match

The highest amount produced by these calculations is what you will receive as your monthly pension benefit.

Here is how the calculations work:

Full Formula 
(Tier One and Tier Two)

Your years of service are multiplied by your final average salary and a set percentage. The percentage depends on your service type.

General service:
1.67% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit

Police and firefighters:
2% × years of service credit × monthly final average salary = monthly pension benefit

Money Match 
(Tier One and Tier Two)

Your member account balance is matched by your employer, and the result is multiplied by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”).

Age factor × account balance × 2

Formula Plus Annuity
(only Tier One members who made contributions before August 21, 1981)

This method has two parts, the first of which is similar to Full Formula but uses a different set percentage. 

Your total from this first part is then added to an annuity payment, which is calculated by multiplying your member account balance by a variable representing the estimated life expectancy for people in your age group (aka your “age factor”). This second part looks similar to the Money Match formula.

General service:
1% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance


Legislators, police, and firefighters:
1.35% × years of service credit × final average salary
+
Age factor × account balance

Notes and definitions:

  • Most Tier One/Tier Two members now retire under the Full Formula method. Tier Two members are unlikely to have Money Match result in their highest calculated benefit because their account balances are generally low (due to having fewer years of contributions into the member account before 2004, when contributions were diverted to the IAP).
  • Service credit is the number of months and years you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. A “qualifying” position is one in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year for one or more PERS-participating employers. Hours worked with different participating employers in the same calendar year are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for that year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn service time for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment. One month of service time is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.
  • In general, your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:
    • The average gross monthly salary that results from the three years in which you earned your highest total salaries from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year.
    • 1/36 of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.

Yes – starting September 2020, nonretired members are able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, directing which IAP Target-Date Fund they want their funds invested. This is called a Member Choice Election.
 

Any eligible choice made by the annual September 30 deadline, will go into effect January 1, of the following year. Example: if you made a member choice election in 2020, it first becomes effective for calendar year 2021, which means you first see your member choice annual investment returns on your 2021 statement, sent in spring 2022.

For more details and information on how to change your TDF, visit IAP Target-Date Funds.

Judge membership

The method used to calculate your judge-member pension benefit is determined by you and which of the judge-member plans you choose to retire under: Plan A or Plan B.

Note that your choice of plan will become irrevocable once you reach age 60, and if you fail to choose a plan, you will be automatically retired under Plan A and its calculation. For details about Plans A and B, see Oregon Revised Statutes 238.535(1).

Under Plan A, the maximum benefit you can receive is 65% of your final average salary. Meanwhile, Plan B’s benefit is capped at 75% of your final average salary. To get the maximum benefits, you must serve as a judge in a qualifying position for 28 years for Plan A and 23.54 years under Plan B. If you serve for fewer years, your benefit will be lower. Plan B also requires you to serve as a pro tem judge, without compensation, for a certain period in your retirement. See ORS 238.535(1)(c) for details about the pro tem requirement.

Each of the Plan A and B calculations uses at least your final average salary, applicable service time, and percentage defined by statute to determine your monthly benefit payment in retirement. To see more specifics about these calculations, including examples, go to pages 7 and 8 of the Judge Member’s Handbook.

Other PERS memberships

If you have another pension from Tier One, Tier Two, or OPSRP, other calculation methods will be used to determine your monthly retirement benefit from these plans. To see the equations used for these and sample calculations, go to the Tier One/Tier Two and OPSRP annual statement FAQs. ​​

 
Military Service Time Purchase
 
  • Must have returned to former PERS-covered employer within the time limits specified in ORS 238.156(3). State agencies are all considered one employer, as are school districts.
  • The member pays the cost of any contributions he/she would have made. No interest is charged.
  • Applies to an employee of a PERS-participating employer who served in the Armed Forces only.
  • The PERS member, any person, or organization, may pay the contributions. Cost must be paid in lump sum.
  • Contribution amount is based on salary at the time the employee entered or reentered military service.
  • Cannot have been dishonorably discharged.
  • No minimum service required.
  • Contributions can be paid anytime after returning to employment and before retirement.
  • PERS requires a copy of the members DD214 to determine eligibility to make this purchase. For more information read: Answers to Your Questions about Purchasing Retirement Credit for Military Service Prior to PERS Employment

 

 

Full-Cost purchase

PERS members who qualify can buy “service time” (retirement credit) to retire early or possibly increase the amount of their monthly retirement benefit. Those who qualify can buy:
 
·       military, 
·       out-of-state teaching, 
·       out-of-state police,
·       wildland firefighter service, and 
·       non-duty disability time. 
 
For these purchases, the member must pay PERS the full cost to the system of providing the additional retirement credit to the member, plus a $145 fee to cover administrative costs of processing the purchase. That purchase cost can be substantial, particularly if the purchase allows a member to retire before reaching normal retirement age.
 
If you are eligible to retire without the purchase, you can still make a purchase to increase your monthly retirement benefit.
 
If you are interested in a full-cost purchase, complete the appropriate section of the Benefit Estimate form. You must request a benefit estimate to receive the estimated cost of what purchases are available to you.
  
Note that the final purchase cost will not be determined until you actually retire, and could change substantially from the estimated cost.
 
In simple terms, the amount of a full cost purchase is determined by subtracting the amount required to fund the retirement benefit without the purchase from the amount required to fund the retirement benefit with the purchase. Additional information can be provided upon member request.
 
The actual cost of your full-cost purchase will depend on a number of individual factors, including:
·       The benefit calculation method (i.e., Full Formula, Formula Plus Annuity, Money Match).
·       The number of years of membership before your effective retirement date.
·       Your final average salary.
·       Your eligibility to retire, and whether you would receive an actuarially reduced benefit without the purchase (i.e., whether you will have reached early or normal retirement age at your effective retirement date). [Note: It will cost less for a member who has already reached normal retirement age to make the purchase than a member who has not reached normal retirement age.]
·       Your service classification (General Service, Police Officer & Firefighter).
·       Future cost-of-living increases and any tax remedy increases.
 
From 2016 to 2018, the average full cost purchase (military and out-of-state-teaching purchases) was $116,760 (Median: $80,000), with actual costs ranging from $145 to over $900,000. Actual costs will depend on your specific situation.
  
For more information read: Full-cost purchases: Questions & Answers.
.

Wildland Firefighter

  • Allows eligible, certified employees employed by State Forestry on October 23, 1999, to purchase job class credit as a firefighter for service performed before that date as a wildland firefighter. Eligible employees may purchase P&F job class to replace all or part of the eligible service.

  • Must have been employed as a firefighter and service must have been with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

  • The State Forester must certify an employee is a “professional wildland firefighter” and include dates of employment as a wildland firefighter.

  • The purchase must represent the full cost to the system for providing additional retirement credit. For more information read: Full-cost purchases: Questions & Answers.

  • The purchase must be made within 90 days before retirement date.

  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.

What are Police Officer and Firefighter (P&F) units?

P&F units are an additional benefit, separate from the Tier One/Tier Two pension and the IAP, that a Tier One or Tier Two police officer or firefighter (see A-Z guide, Police and Firefighter for eligibility) can purchase with after-tax dollars. After retirement, the unit account will provide a monthly income, usually for five years, which is partially paid by your employer as long as payments are received by age 65.

Does my unit account earn interest?

Yes. Your account will be credited annually with the same earnings as your member regular account.

How do I know if I qualify to purchase P&F units?

You qualify if you are a Tier One or Tier Two member employed in a PERS-qualifying position that is classified as a police officer or firefighter (P&F) as defined in Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 238. Your employer is responsible for accurately reporting your job classification to PERS.

Your annual statement should note your classification and provide a P&F account balance, 2016 contributions, and 2016 earnings.

Where can I get more information about P&F units?

For other questions about P&F units, see the rest of this FAQ here and find other forms and information here.

You can create 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.

If your PERS account involves a divorce, you should request a written benefit estimate. OMS cannot correctly calculate a benefit estimate on an account with a divorce award. 

When you are within 24 months of the earliest date you are eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting a Tier One/Tier Two Estimate Request form. (Note: PERS processes benefit estimate requests in retirement-date order, with the earliest retirement dates first. Estimate processing time may vary from member to member, as each account is different, so we are unable to tell you exactly when your estimate will be completed.) 

Your PERS benefit estimate will provide information on service time purchases available to you 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 PERS benefit estimate before your retirement date, especially if you wish to purchase service time. OMS will not estimate the cost of purchases unless you have a completed benefit estimate. Note: Benefit estimates are just that – estimates. They are not a guarantee of benefits. 

Benefit estimates only include your Tier One or Tier Two retirement benefit. You can use the IAP Balance and Installment Calculator to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

Vested status applies to the pension portion of your OPSRP retirement and means that you cannot lose your right to your pension benefit unless you withdraw from the overall OPSRP program.​

One action that may trigger withdrawal from the OPSRP program and forfeiture of your pension would be withdrawal of your Individual Account Program (IAP) balance.

For more information about withdrawing your IAP and what forfeiture means, see the “I no longer work for a PERS-participating employer. Can I withdraw my money?” section below.

You qualify if you are a Tier One or Tier Two member of PERS in a qualifying position and are classified as a police officer or firefighter, as defined in Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 238. Your employer is responsible for accurately reporting your job classification to PERS. 

Your annual statement should include your classification, your P&F account balance, your contributions (if applicable) for the statement year, and annual earnings.​

Prior to effective withdrawal dates of July 1, 2020, members vested in the OPSRP Pension Program whose net present value of their OPSRP pension was below $5,000 were able to receive the net present value amount in a lump-sum payment. Those individuals also completely canceled their membership and have no future rights to any PERS benefits. 

Prior to effective withdrawal dates of July 1, 2020, members vested in the OPSRP Pension Program who withdrew their IAP and were ineligible to withdraw their OPSRP pension because the net present value of their withdrawal benefit was over $5,000 did not “cancel” their OPSRP membership, and will be eligible for an OPSRP retirement benefit when they are retirement-age-eligible, as long as they do not subsequently withdraw again, after July 1, 2020. 

Senate Bill 1049 eliminated the withdrawal provisions of the OPSRP Pension Program, including the language that PERS would pay the withdrawing member the actuarial equivalent of the member’s pension benefit upon withdrawal.​ 

You can create 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.
 

If your PERS account involves a divorce, you should request a written benefit estimate. OMS cannot correctly calculate a benefit estimate on an account with a divorce award. 

When you are within 24 months of the earliest date you are eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting a Tier One/Tier Two Estimate Request form. (Note: PERS processes benefit estimate requests in retirement-date order, with the earliest retirement dates first. Estimate processing time may vary from member to member, as each account is different, so we are unable to tell you exactly when your estimate will be completed.) 

Your PERS benefit estimate will provide information on service time purchases available to you 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 PERS benefit estimate before your retirement date, especially if you wish to purchase service time. OMS will not estimate the cost of purchases unless you have a completed benefit estimate. Note: Benefit estimates are just that – estimates. They are not a guarantee of benefits. 

Benefit estimates only include your Tier One or Tier Two retirement benefit. You can use the IAP Disbursement Forecaster to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

Fill out an IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to name someone to receive your benefits should you die before withdrawing your account or retiring. New beneficiary designations supersed​e all past selections.

Vested status

“Vested status” on your statement indicates whether you have reached vesting in your judge-member pension and lists the years of service credit you have accrued. Once vested, you cannot lose your right to your judge-member pension benefit even if you stop working as a judge in a qualifying position.

Being vested also means you’ll be entitled to other provisions of the program, such as having death benefits paid to a beneficiary and a disability retirement allowance should you become unable to work, as described in ORS 238.555.

Vesting

To become vested in the Judge Member Program, you must make contributions to the Judge Member Fund for five years before reaching age 75 and not withdraw your judge account.

Other PERS pension programs have their own rules regarding vesting. See discussions of vesting on Tier One/Tier Two’s and OPRSP’s “Eligibility to Retire” webpages.​​

Periods of Disability

  • A Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can make this purchase.

  • If disability is due to illness or injury sustained on the job, the member receives the service time at no cost (credit must be requested). Otherwise, the member pays the actuarial full cost of a benefit. 

    For more information read: Full-cost purchases: Questions & Answers.

  • To receive service credit for a job-related illness or injury, the member must have been on a PERS duty disability or show that he/she was receiving workers' compensation benefits.

  • If the disability was not job-related, the member pays the full purchase in a lump sum.

  • The member must have returned to PERS employment following disability.

  • This purchase only applies to periods of disability occurring on or after January 1, 1985, for which the member received a PERS disability retirement allowance or workers’ compensation disability payment.

  • The purchase is for service credit only toward a new PERS retirement, not an increase in his/her account balance.

  • If disability was a self-inflicted injury or illness, member cannot make this purchase.

  • No minimum service required.

  • Purchase must be made within 90 days before a new PERS retirement date.

Military Service Under (USERRA)

  • For employees of a PERS-participating employer who left employment to serve in the Uniformed Services and were reemployed on or after December 12, 1994. 
  • The PERS member, or any person or organization, may make up contributions for the period of service. However, if an employer has elected to assume and pay the member contributions (EPPT), the employer must make the contributions. 
  • Contributions can be made between date of reemployment and 3x the duration of military service (but not to exceed five years). 
  • Contributions are based on what salary would have been during the period of military service. 
  • Cannot have been dishonorably discharged.
  • Must have returned to former employer within the time limits specified in USERRA §4312 (the state is considered one employer). 
  • No minimum service required.To the extent contributions are made, service credit for the period of military service is granted. 
  • PERS requires a copy of the members DD214 to determine eligibility to make this purchase.
​As a P&F member of PERS, you may elect to make additional contributions to purchase up to eight units of additional benefits at retirement. To purchase units complete the Police Officer and Firefighter Unit Purchase Election at Retirement.

When you retire as a participant in the Variable Annuity Program, you have the option of transferring your variable account balance into your regular account or keeping it in the variable program.

Funds in the Variable Annuity Program are invested completely in stocks, unlike the Oregon PERS Fund, which is invested in a more diverse set of assets. Your regular account is associated with the Oregon PERS Fund.

If you choose to remain in the variable program at retirement, a portion of your retirement benefit can change annually based on the ups and downs of stocks. The higher the percentage you originally chose (25%, 50% or 75%) to put into a variable account, the more money you will have exposed to stock market variation. You cannot retroactively change the percentage of your past contributions.

However, other portions of your monthly benefit will come from fixed sources: a pension funded by your employer and an annuity based on your regular account balance. It is only the portion of your pension based on your variable account that would fluctuate; having a variable component in your PERS retirement plan does mean your total monthly payment could vary over the course of your retirement. 

If you remain in the variable, once you are retired, PERS will adjust the variable portion of your monthly benefit every February 1. The adjustment is based on earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.

And if you originally opted into the variable program but continued working for a PERS-qualifying employer after January 1, 2004, contributions made after that date have gone into your Individual Account Program (IAP) account, rather than the variable program. Contributing to, or transferring new funds into, your variable account are no longer options.​

You can become vested in your OPSRP pension in one of two ways, whichever comes first: 

1. You will need to work in a qualifying position for a PERS-participating employer for at least 600 hours per year for five years. The years do not have to be consecutive, but there cannot be a gap in qualifying employment of more than five years. 

or 

2. You are working in a qualifying position for a PERS-participating employer at any time on or after reaching normal retirement age of 65. 

Meanwhile, in your IAP, you become vested as soon as contributions to your IAP account begin. Contributions typically start six months after your hire date.​​

Online 

Check out our Police and Firefighter Unit Benefits webpage and the applicable forms for your P&F classification. 

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about PERS retirement benefits from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online. ​​​​​

If you are vested and you do not withdraw your member account(s), you will be eligible for a monthly pension benefit at retirement (provided that the monthly benefit you are eligible for is greater than $200).

When you are “vested” in your OPSRP pension, this means you have a right to a future lifetime, monthly pension benefit when you become retirement-eligible.

Starting July 1, 2020, due to Senate Bill 1049 (see Section 5 of the bill), if you choose to withdraw your IAP account balance, this cancels your OPSRP membership. 

Withdrawing and canceling your OPSRP/PERS membership means you:
  • Have no membership rights in the PERS system and completely forfeit your rights to any future benefits, including any potential pension benefit.
  • Have no rights to restore your PERS account(s) or other membership rights.
  • Lose all years of retirement credit you have earned. These years of retirement credit would have been used toward calculating your lifetime, monthly pension benefit.
  • There will be no payment of the net actuarial value of the pension account. Because you choose to withdraw, you forfeit all rights to any type of withdrawal or retirement benefit for your OPSRP/PERS membership, which is funded by your employer.
When you retire as a participant in the Variable Annuity Program, you have the option of transferring your variable account balance into your regular account or keeping it in the variable program.
 

Funds in the Variable Annuity Program are invested completely in stocks, unlike the Oregon PERS Fund, which is invested in a more diverse set of assets. Your regular account is associated with the Oregon PERS Fund.

If you choose to remain in the variable program at retirement, a portion of your retirement benefit can change annually based on the ups and downs of stocks. The higher the percentage you originally chose (25%, 50% or 75%) to put into a variable account, the more money you will have exposed to stock market variation. You cannot retroactively change the percentage of your past contributions. 

However, other portions of your monthly benefit will come from fixed sources: a pension funded by your employer and an annuity based on your regular account balance. It is only the portion of your pension based on your variable account that would fluctuate; having a variable component in your PERS retirement plan does mean your total monthly payment could vary over the course of your retirement. 

If you remain in the variable, once you are retired, PERS will adjust the variable portion of your monthly benefit every February 1. The adjustment is based on earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.

And if you originally opted into the variable program but continued working for a PERS-qualifying employer after January 1, 2004, contributions made after that date have gone into your Individual Account Program (IAP) account, rather than the variable program. Contributing to, or transferring new funds into, your variable account are no longer options.

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about your IAP-only situation, and more, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email
PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online.

 

Online

See our
IAP Information webpage for forms and links to various information about IAP accounts.

If you need help reading and interpreting other details on your member annual statement, see our Tier One, Tier Two or OPSRP interactive example statements for guidance.

 

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.​

You have a couple of options for getting pension benefit estimates:

1. At any time, you can generate your own estimate through Online Member Services (OMS) for all your accounts: Tier One, Tier Two, OPSRP, and judge member. When you are viewing your “Account Summary” page, click on the “Benefit Estimate” link in the list on the left. Click on “Create New Benefit Estimate” and follow the steps from there.

You will be able to run estimates for: Just your judicial time, just your Tier One or Tier Two account, or these plans combined. Any unused sick time you may have accrued prior to serving on the bench will be brought in by the tool. You will need to run a separate estimate for your OPSRP membership.

The online benefit estimator will use the most recent data supplied by your employer(s) to create an estimate for any future retirement date. You can generate multiple benefit estimates with different retirement dates to help you determine if you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

2. When you are within 24 months of the earliest date on which you’re eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting a Judge Member Benefit Estimate Request form. This estimate also may indicate whether you have the option to purchase service time, which could increase your monthly pension 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.

If you are a judge member with an Individual Account Program (IAP), you can use the IAP Disbursement Forecaster to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.​

Redeposit (refunded time)

  • A person who has withdrawn his/her Tier One/Tier Two account can restore service time by paying the withdrawn amount plus the interest that would have accrued to purchase date.
  • Member must be rehired in a PERS-qualifying position within five years of the separation that preceded the withdrawal.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • No minimum service required.
  • The redeposit must be made within the first year of reemployment by a PERS-covered employer and is not made at the time of retirement.

Yes. At or before the time you apply for retirement, you can request a one-time transfer to move all funds out of your variable account into your regular account by submitting a One-Time Variable Transfer: Active or Inactive Members​ form to PERS. You must meet the age and eligibility requirements listed on the form, and PERS must receive your election form by December 31 of the year in which the request is made. The transfer will become effective on January 1 of the following year.

This transfer, once effective, is permanent. It cannot be revoked, reversed, or undone. Once made, you will no longer have a variable account and will not receive a variable annuity benefit in your retirement. You can cancel your One-Time Variable Transfer request up until December 31 of the year in which the request is made. 

You may also choose to transfer out of the variable when you apply for retirement.

To receive a pension benefit, you must first be vested (see the “How do I become vested?” section above) in the OPSRP Pension Program and eligible to retire. Your pension is a defined benefit (see the “What is the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP)?” section above) and will provide you with a monthly income for your lifetime in retirement.

To determine what that monthly income will be, PERS uses a formula, with a percentage that varies depending on your service type:

General service:

1.5% × years of total retirement credit × final average salary

Police and firefighters:

1.8% × years of total retirement credit × final average salary

Ultimately, the formula will result in an amount that makes up only a portion of your final average salary at retirement. The more time you work and accrue retirement credit in a qualifying position, the higher that portion will be. For example:

  • 30 years of retirement credit = 45% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension

  • 20 years of retirement credit = 30% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension

  • 10 years of retirement credit = 15% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension


Notes and definitions:

  • Your retirement credit is the amount of time (months and years) you have worked in a PERS-qualifying position. One month of retirement credit is earned for each major fraction of a month worked.

  • A “qualifying position” is one in which you work 600 or more hours in a calendar year for a PERS-participating employer(s). Hours worked with different participating employers are combined to determine if the 600-hour standard has been met for a given year. Under certain circumstances, if you are not employed for the full calendar year, you may earn retirement credit for a partial year with fewer than 600 hours of employment.

  • Your final average salary is the greater of these amounts:

    • The average gross monthly salary that results from the three consecutive years in which you earned your highest total salaries from one or more PERS-participating employers, even if one of those years was less than a full calendar year.
    • 1/36 of the total salary you received from one or more PERS-participating employers in the last 36 months of active membership.
Unlike some other types of retirement accounts, there is no process to directly or immediately roll over your IAP balance into another account unless you are:

1. Not working for a PERS-participating employer, and 
​2. Completely withdraw your account, following the “Steps to Withdraw,” below, or apply for retirement. 

If you participate in the Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP) or other 403(b) or 457(b) plans, your plan may have loan or hardship withdrawal options. Check with your employer’s human resources or payroll department.

By withdrawing your account(s) you forfeit all membership rights and any future benefits provided by PERS.

Steps to Withdraw

1. Understand the full rules and impacts of withdrawing your account.
2. Fill out the OPSRP Member Withdrawal Application​ form and mail or fax it to PERS.
3. Fill out any other necessary tax or acknowledgement forms, including directions on where to send your IAP money.
4. You must also meet a bona-fide separation period (see below).
​5. Most applications will be processed within 120 days from your effective withdrawal date, which is the first of the month in which your withdrawal application is received by PERS, or the first day of the second month after you separate, whichever is later. However, if there is a discrepancy in your account, the processing time may vary and could exceed 120 days. Missing data from your previous employer(s) could cause delays. You must also be eligible to withdraw (see below).

In order to cancel your PERS membership and be eligible to withdraw from the OPSRP Pension Program to receive your IAP balance (whether as a direct payment or as a rollover), you must:

  • Have stopped working for all PERS-participating employers, including any substitute, temporary, and on-call positions, completely separating from all PERS-participating employment.
  • Remain separated from all PERS-participating employment for a full calendar month following the month you terminated employment with your last PERS employer to meet the required bona-fide separation period.
    • The calendar month must run from the first day of the month through the last day. (Example: If you terminate any day in February, you cannot return to work until April 1 or later.)
    • If PERS issues a withdrawal and later discovers you were still employed by a PERS-participating employer or did not meet the required bona-fide separation period you will be required to return the withdrawal amount(s) into your IAP or other account(s).

Notes about IAP balances
The accounts under the Individual Account Program (IAP) include the employee account, rollover account, employer account of a member, and the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). A member may withdraw their IAP to the extent the member is vested in those accounts under ORS 238A.320.​​​​
​​
Yes. At or before the time you apply for retirement, you can request a one-time transfer to move all funds out of your variable account into your regular account by submitting a One-Time Variable Transfer: Active or Inactive Members form to PERS. You must meet the age and eligibility requirements listed on the form, and PERS must receive your election form by December 31 of the year in which the request is made. The transfer will become effective on January 1 of the following year.
 

This transfer, once effective, is permanent. It cannot be revoked, reversed, or undone. Once made, you will no longer have a variable account and will not receive a variable annuity benefit in your retirement. You can cancel your One-Time Variable Transfer request up until December 31 of the year in which the request is made. 

You may also choose to transfer out of the variable when you apply for retirement.

Complete and submit a new Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to make updates to your judge membership beneficiary elections before retirement. New beneficiary designations supersede all past selections.

If you also have Tier One, Tier Two, and/or an IAP membership, you will need to submit separate beneficiary forms for each account. Find the forms by clicking the following: Tier One/Tier Two and IAP.

If you have an OPSRP membership, beneficiary options are limited by law. See the OPSRP member annual statement FAQ’s section “Do I have a beneficiary for my OPSRP pension benefit?” for more details. Do ensure you fill out your IAP beneficiary if you have an IAP.​

 

Seasonal service time

  • The member must complete and return the Certification of Seasonal Service form before an estimate can be completed.
  • A Tier One/Tier Two active member can purchase this service time if he/she was a “seasonal” employee. This includes apprenticeships, internships, or entry-level positions (as defined by the employer) that led to employment in a technical or professional position with that employer.
  • The member pays the cost of his/her contributions and the employer’s contributions plus 8 percent interest to the retirement date.
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • Only seasonal time periods of less than six months may be purchased.
  • This purchase does not apply to regular waiting time served before becoming a PERS member.
  • Must purchase all seasonal time periods served before becoming a PERS member.
  • Requires 10 years of creditable service at retirement.
  • The purchase must be made within 90 days before retirement date.

Earnings crediting for the previous year is typically determined in April of the following year. Tier One regular accounts receive the assumed earnings rate. Tier Two, Employee Pension Stability Account, and Individual Account Program (IAP) accounts receive earnings based on investment returns minus administrative expenses. Tier Two, EPSA, and IAP accounts are subject to earnings or losses.

Earnings crediting is only visible in Online Member Services after earnings have been applied to accounts each spring.

​You have a couple of options for getting pension benefit estimates:

1. At any time, you can generate your own estimate through Online Member Services (OMS). When you are viewing your “Account Summary” page, click on the “Benefit Estimate” link in the list on the left. Click on “Create New Benefit Estimate” and follow the steps from there.

The online benefit estimator will use the most recent data supplied by your employer(s) to create an estimate for any future retirement date. You can generate multiple benefit estimates with different retirement dates to help you determine if you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

If your PERS account involves a divorce, you should request a written benefit estimate. OMS cannot correctly calculate a benefit estimate on an account with a divorce award. 

2. When you are within 24 months of the earliest date on which you’re eligible to retire, you can request a PERS benefit estimate by submitting an OPSRP Estimate Request form. (Note: PERS processes benefit estimate requests in retirement-date order, with the earliest retirement dates first. Estimate processing time may vary from member to member, as each account is different, so we are unable to tell you exactly when your estimate will be completed.)


Note: Benefit estimates are just that — estimates. They are not a guarantee of benefits.

To get an estimate for your Individual Account Program (IAP), you can use the IAP Balance and Installment Calculator to estimate your IAP distribution at retirement.

If you have not yet conducted an estimate of your OPSRP pension, you should do so using Online Member Services (OMS) or by calculating the estimate yourself, based on the following formula:

 

General Service (all positions except for Police Officers and Firefighters (P&F)) 

1.5% × years of retirement credit (service) × monthly final average salary = monthly, lifetime pension benefit

 

Police and Fire (P&F)

1.8% × years of retirement credit (service) × monthly final average salary = monthly, lifetime pension benefit

 

Example (Replace with Your Own Numbers)

You are thinking of withdrawing. You have worked 7 years and 9 months in a General Service position. Your retirement credit is therefore 7.75 years (9/12 months = 0.75). 

To get a rough estimate of your final average salary, take your annual salary for the last three years and add them together ($55,000 + $59,000 + $64,000 = $178,000) then divide by 36 ($178,000 / 36 = $4,945 average monthly salary). 

Now, complete the equation:

1.5% × 7.75 × $4,945 = $574.85 lifetime monthly benefit

 

If this member withdraws, the member will forfeit a lifetime monthly benefit of $574.85 a month, that would be payable upon the member retiring at full retirement age of 65. 

Please use your own numbers so you are aware of the benefit you will be forfeiting if you choose to withdraw. You must be vested in OPSRP to be eligible for an OPSRP pension retirement benefit. 

Take _____ years you work (Retirement Credit) × 1.5% 

            45% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension = 30 years of retirement credit

            30% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension = 20 years of retirement credit

            15% of final average salary payable as lifetime pension = 10 years of retirement credit​​

Earnings crediting for the previous year is typically determined in April of the following year. Tier One regular accounts receive the assumed earnings rate. Tier Two and Individual Account Program (IAP) accounts receive earnings based on investment returns minus administrative expenses. Tier Two and IAP accounts are subject to earnings or losses.
 

Earnings crediting is only visible in Online Member Services after earnings have been applied to accounts each spring.

If you participated in the Variable Annuity Program, you can request a one-time, irrevocable transfer of variable account funds into your regular account. You can do so within “Section C: To make a one-time transfer” on the PERS: Judge Member Variable Annuity Program Participation form, and submit that form via fax or mail to PERS. You must meet age and eligibility requirements as shown in the Section C instructions.

One-time transfer requests received on or before December 31 of a given year will go into effect on January 1 of the following year.

You can take the transfer at any time or wait to do it at retirement. Remember: If and when you take the transfer, you will no longer be eligible to receive a variable annuity in retirement. ​

Waiting Time (employment before PERS contributions began)

  • A PERS Tier One/Tier Two active or inactive member can purchase the six-month waiting time before contributions began. The member pays the cost of his/her contributions and the employer’s contributions. No interest is charged.
  • If you have more than one waiting-time period due to a prior withdrawal/refund, you cannot purchase your total waiting time if you do not also purchase your forfeited (refunded) time.​
  • Purchase cost must be paid in a lump sum.
  • The purchase must be made within 90 days before retirement date.
  • Requires 10 years of service credit at retirement.

​No. The Oregon PERS Fund (OPERF) is managed by Oregon State Treasury​ under the direction of the Oregon Investment Council. OPERF investment returns are posted monthly. More information about the fund and its investments is available on PERS’ Actuarial/Financial Information webpage.​​​​

No. The Oregon PERS Fund (OPERF) is managed by Oregon State Treasury under the direction of the Oregon Investment Council. OPERF investment returns are posted monthly. More information about the fund and its investments is available on PERS’ Actuarial/Financial Information webpage.​
​Yes. As of September 2020, nonretired members are able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, directing which IAP Target-Date Funds they want their funds invested. This is called a Member Choice election.

Any eligible choice made by the annual September 30 deadline will go into effect January 1 of the following year. For example, if you changed your TDF in September 2020, it became effective on January 1, 2021, and you will see the change reflected on your 2021 member annual statement, which will be mailed in spring 2022.

For more information about how to change your TDF go to the IAP Target-Date Funds webpage.
Yes, if you already are a participant in the Variable Annuity Program as a judge member.

Program participants can choose to place 25%, 50%, or 75% of employee contributions into their variable accounts or cancel all future contributions using “Section B: To change variable contribution rate” of the PERS: Judge Member Variable Annuity Program Participation form. All changes become effective January 1 following the year in which PERS receives the form.

Remember: The Variable Annuity Program is only applicable to judge members who were sitting judges and participating in the Variable Annuity Program on or before June 30, 2003. PERS ended the Variable Annuity Program as an investment option for anyone joining PERS on or after January 1, 2004.

For those judges who are variable annuity participants after retirement, PERS will adjust the variable portion of your retirement benefit every February 1, based on earnings or losses for the 12-month period ending October 31 of the prior year.​​​​​

Fill out an IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to name someone to receive your benefits should you die before withdrawing your account or retiring. New beneficiary designations supersede all past selections.

Yes – starting September 2020, nonretired members will be able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, into which IAP Target-Date Fund they want their funds invested.
 

Any eligible choice made by September 30, 2020, will go into effect January 1, 2021. If you make a choice, remember this is for calendar year 2021, which means you will see annual investment returns on your 2021 statement, sent in spring 2022. You continue to be invested in your age-based IAP TDF for calendar year 2020. 

More details and information on how to change your TDF for 2021 will be added to PERS’ IAP Target-Date Funds webpage in August 2020 and sent out via GovDelivery.

Talk to PERS

Contact PERS’ judge member coordinator from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 503-603-7507 or PERS.Judge.COUNSELOR@pers.state.or.us.

Online

The Judge Member’s Handbook includes helpful information on all aspects of PERS benefits for judges, including contribution rates, benefit calculations, and participation in the Variable Annuity Program.

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, education workshops, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.

Yes. As of September 2020, nonretired members are able to voluntarily make an election, once per year, directing which IAP Target-Date Funds they want their funds invested. This is called a Member Choice election.
 
Any eligible choice made by the annual September 30 deadline will go into effect January 1 of the following year. For example, if you changed your TDF in September 2020, it became effective on January 1, 2021, and you will see the change reflected on your 2021 member annual statement, which will be mailed in spring 2022.

For more information about how to change your TDF, go to the IAP Target-Date Funds webpage.


Fill out a Tier One/Tier Two Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to select or update your Tier One/Tier Two beneficiary before retirement. New beneficiary designations supersede all past selections.

If you have worked for a PERS-participating employer after January 1, 2004, you will also need to submit the IAP Pre-Retirement Designation of Beneficiary form to PERS to update your Individual Account Program (IAP) beneficiary before you retire. 

If you wish to change your beneficiary as the result of a divorce before retirement, your ability to do so may depend on what your divorce decree allows. See PERS’ Get Divorced webpage for more information.

You cannot name a beneficiary for your Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). Any EPSA balance available to be paid to a beneficiary at the time of your passing would be paid to your IAP beneficiary.

When you apply for retirement

At the time you file your PERS retirement application, you can choose anyone – but only one person – as your beneficiary, if you would like a survivorship pension option to be paid for your lifetime and for a beneficiary’s lifetime. More information on the options are available in the Pre-Retirement Guide​.

Before retirement

By law, beneficiary options for your OPSRP pension are limited. If you die before retirement, PERS will only pay a death benefit to your spouse, your former spouse under a court order (such as a divorce decree), or to any other person required to be treated like a spouse for the purpose of retirement benefits. No other beneficiary types can be chosen before retirement.

If you are otherwise single and die before retirement, no pension benefits will be paid to anyone (with the exception of former spouses under court order​); you do not have a preretirement beneficiary option.  

For more information, see the “Pension Death Benefits before Retirement” entry in our Quick Answers guide for OPSRP, under “D.” 

When you apply for retirement

At the time you file your PERS retirement application, you can choose anyone — but only one person — as your beneficiary, if you would like a pension option to be paid for your lifetime and for a beneficiary’s lifetime. More information on the options are available in the Pre-Retirement Guide

Yes, if you meet the following conditions:

  • One full calendar month has passed since the month in which you stopped working for your last PERS-participating employer, and you have not worked for any other PERS-participating employer since. This includes substitute, temporary, and on-call positions.

To request a withdrawal, you must submit a completed Tier One/Tier Two Member Withdrawal Application form.

The amount of your withdrawal(s) will be the total of your Tier One/Tier Two, Employee Pension Stability Account, and Individual Account Program (IAP) account balance(s) at the time of withdrawal. Withdrawals will not include matching funds from your employer, and you cannot withdraw these accounts separately. If you want to withdraw one, you must withdraw all accounts, which will end your membership in PERS.

By ending your membership, you forfeit all membership rights and future benefits provided by PERS. This forfeiture means you will not receive any PERS pension benefits upon retirement, even if you were fully vested at the time you elected the withdrawal.

Keep in mind if you withdraw before age 59 ½, you could be subject to an additional income tax penalty. 

For more information, go to PERS’ Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information webpage.

Yes for your Individual Account Program (IAP), if you meet certain conditions. However, due to Senate Bill 1049, if you withdraw your IAP, this means you will completely cancel your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, including forfeiting your right to a pension benefit earned as of your effective withdrawal date.

More details are available on the Senate Bill 1049 Changes: Withdrawals Effective July 1, 2020 webpage.


Individual Account Program

You can withdraw your IAP account balance if:

  • One full calendar month has passed since the month in which you stopped working for your last PERS-participating employer, and you have not worked for any other PERS-participating employer since. This includes substitute, temporary, and on-call positions.


To request a withdrawal, you must submit a completed OPSRP Member Withdrawal Application Packet.

The decision to leave money in or withdraw money from your IAP account when you are no longer working for a PERS-participating employer is yours to make. PERS staff cannot advise you

Keep in mind that while you were working in a qualifying position, your IAP account received an annual contribution of 6% of your salary (whether paid by you or your employer). As of July 1, 2020, if your gross pay in a month exceeds the monthly salary threshold, a portion of your 6% contributions is redirected to the Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). 

Once you stop working, no additional contributions are made to your accounts. The balance that remains in your IAP account and EPSA if you have one,will continue to be credited with annual earnings or losses, depending on investment returns. To learn about how your IAP is invested, visit Oregon.gov/IAP.

​If you withdraw your IAP account, you also will receive the balance of your EPSA.


OPSRP Pension Program

Withdrawing your IAP balance means you will completely cancel your membership in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, including forfeiting your right to a pension benefit earned as of your effective withdrawal date.

More details are available on the Senate Bill 1049 Changes: Withdrawals Effective July 1, 2020 webpage.


Keep in mind that:

  • If you withdraw, you lose any vesting and retirement credit you had earned up to the point of withdrawal. You will have no rights to a PERS pension benefit in retirement based on of this pre-withdrawal history. 
  • If you later return to work in a PERS-qualifying position, you will start over in the pension program, which will require another six-month waiting period to re-establish membership. You will also start over in terms of vesting (see “How do I become vested?” above).
  • If you withdraw before age 59½, you may be subject to an additional income tax penalty.


If, however, you opt not to withdraw your accounts and are vested, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly pension benefit at retirement and distribution of your IAP.

For more information, go to PERS’ Withdrawal/Inactive Member Information webpage.​

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about PERS retirement benefits from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online. 

Education sessions

PERS also offers group education workshops that cover membership, benefits, and retirement information. These workshops are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Expanded workshops that include financial planning information also are available. 

To learn more, go to PERS’ Tier One/Tier Two Education Presentations webpage. 

Your employer also can request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center.

Retirement application help

When you are within 90 days of your PERS retirement date, you can attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This 45-minute, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Be advised that PERS staff cannot advise or counsel you about your decision to retire nor which benefit distribution options to choose.

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, education workshops, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.​​​​

You annual statement may lack IAP information for various reasons, including:

  • You previously withdrew your IAP balance, but could not cash out your OPSRP pension because it was valued at $5,000 or more (before Senate Bill 1049 removed this option). You will continue to get statements because you remain eligible to receive a pension benefit at retirement unless you decide to withdraw again. However, you no longer have any balance in your IAP.
  • You did not become a PERS member in time for your first IAP contributions to post to your account and be reflected in the current statement. Your OPSRP membership starts on the first day of the month after you finish your six-month waiting period. So if your membership started on or after December 1 of the preceding year, the annual statement you get in May would not include your first contributions. Those initial contributions will be reflected in next year’s statement.​

Talk to PERS

Member Services can answer your questions about PERS retirement benefits from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 888-320-7377 or email PERS.Member.Services@state.or.us. You also can use PERS’ Submit a Question form online. 

Education sessions 

PERS also offers group education workshops that cover membership, benefits, and retirement information. These workshops are for members at any stage in their careers and are held around the state. Expanded workshops that include financial planning information also are available. 

To learn more, go to PERS’ OPSRP Education Presentations webpage. 

Your employer also can request a group session to go over PERS benefits by contacting Member Services or the Employer Service Center.
 

Retirement application help 

When you are within 90 days of your PERS retirement date, you can attend a Retirement Application Assistance Session (RAAS). This 45-minute, one-on-one appointment with a PERS staff member provides an opportunity to have your retirement application reviewed and notarized at no cost. The staff member will answer any questions you have about the retirement process. Be advised that PERS staff cannot advise or counsel you about your decision to retire nor which benefit distribution options to choose.
 

News and announcements

Sign up to receive email or text alerts through GovDelivery. You can choose the topics you wish to receive updates on, including member news and information, education workshops, Oregon Savings Growth Plan, and PERS Health Insurance.

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), PERS will provide PDF documents on this page in an alternate format upon request. To request a document in an alternate format, call 888-320-7377 (toll free) or TTY 503-603-7766.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​