PERS bill mounts

Governments will have to pay a total of over $1 billion in additional PERS contributions.

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Local governments and agencies participating in Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System will have to significantly increase their PERS contributions to make up for the 2008 market decline.

Employers will have to pay a total of over $1 billion in additional employer pension contributions.

“The market downturn dug a huge hole in PERS that needs to be made up,” said Brenda Wilson, the city of Eugene’s intergovernmental relations manager and PERS consultant to the Oregon League of Cities. “Even though there were positive earnings last year, the hole is bigger than that. Not every single employer will see a rate increase, but the vast majority of them will.”

The increase will cost Oregon governments participating in PERS a total of more than $1 billion in additional employer pension contributions, according to information provided by PERS after public-records requests from the Statesman Journal. To cover that expense, cuts to classrooms, parks, libraries and myriad other community services will have to be considered. Some local governments might lay off workers.

Read the full story at the Statesman Journal.

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