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Senate Bill (SB) 1049 and OPSRP withdrawals

This webpage is intended to provide general information about OPSRP program changes due to Senate Bill (SB) 1049 (2019) that went into effect on July 1, 2020. Information on this webpage may not address your specific situation. This information only pertains to members of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP), who were hired after August 28, 2003. If you are considering withdrawing your PERS account(s) and terminating your membership, including all rights to potential retirement benefits earned as of the effective date of the withdrawal, you may want to speak with a financial advisor, tax advisor or other retirement planning professional.

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 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.

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.

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 SB 1049 (see Section 5), 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.

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.

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