The Oregon State Legislature enacted seven major bills related to PERS in 2009.
Federal Reconnect Bill
Technical updates to PERS statutes to update the connection to federal Internal Revenue Code and other provisions of federal tax law.
Text of HB 2157
Elimination of Workers' Compensation Offset
Removes the offset for a workers' compensation benefit in calculating a disability retirement allowance/benefit for PERS Chapter 238 Program Tier Two and OPSRP Pension Program members. PERS will no longer be required to reduce a Tier Two or OPSRP Pension Program member's disability benefit because the member is also receiving a workers' compensation payment under ORS Chapter 656. The offset is eliminated for disability benefits payable on or after January 1, 2010. This legislation is not retroactive and does not apply to any disability benefits paid prior to the operative date of the bill (January 1, 2010).
Text of HB 2704
Public Employees Retirement Benefits
HB 2873 modifies the method by which the Public Employees Retirement Board calculates certain retirement benefit increases provided for under ORS 238.380, and includes technical amendments to a previously adopted bill, SB 112. The 1997 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3349, which provided a benefit increase based on PERS benefits attributable to service prior to 1991. The benefit increase calculation was tied to the maximum Oregon personal income tax rate (at that time, 9 percent). This bill locks in 9 percent as the basis for the HB 3349 calculation.
Text of HB 2873
Information for Claiming Veterans' Benefits
Requires PERS to include a link on the its website to the Department of Veterans' Affairs' website that allows people to request information about veterans' benefits and services, and to enter their contact information. Requires PERS to make printed materials available at PERS headquarters to inform individuals how to contact the Department of Veterans' Affairs to request information about veterans' benefits and services.
Text of HB 3104
Use of Excess Amounts in Employer Side Accounts
The bill directs the PERS Board to seek a ruling from the IRS on whether the use of excess amounts in an employer's side account established under ORS 238.229(2) to offset employer-paid contributions to the IAP would cause the PERS Plan to lose its tax qualified status under the Internal Revenue Code. If the IRS finds that practice acceptable, and the PERS Board determines that the employer's side account exceeds what is necessary to fund the employer's actuarial liabilities, then the employer can request the Board to apply the excess amounts to offset employer-paid contributions.
Text of HB 3401
Total Lump Sum - Return to Work
SB 112 allows a retired PERS Chapter 238 (Tier One and Tier Two) Program member who, at retirement, elects to receive a total lump sum benefit to be reemployed by a public employer under the same provisions as retired members who elect to receive a monthly benefit. This legislation provides a more consistent application of the return-to-work limitations regardless of the benefit payment option chosen. This provision is effective January 1, 2010. Additionally, SB 112 provides that hours worked by a retired member in a position that is exempt from the 1,040-hour limitation are not counted towards that limitation. This provision was effective June 18, 2009, when the bill was signed and is retroactive to January 1, 2004.
Text of SB 112
Trustee-to Trustee Transfer for Eligible Purchases at Retirement
This bill allows PERS Chapter 238 (Tier One and Tier Two) Program members who are eligible to make purchases of retirement credit to pay for those purchases with pre-tax dollars transferred from certain other retirement plans such as a governmental deferred compensation plan under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 457 or a Tax Sheltered Annuity under IRC section 403(b). This bill will not be operative until September 1, 2011.
Text of SB 399