PERS deficit exceeds $21B

The Public Employees Retirement System’s unfunded liabilities deficit surpassed $21 billion, and public employers will be forced to make cuts to pay for costs.

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Pension investments in public equity, real estate and alternative energy have fallen markedly. In January, public equity lost 6.66 percent, real estate 1.17 percent and alternative energy 0.05 percent. Other investments have remained flat.

The cost of the unfunded liabilities will be shouldered by public employers like state and local governments, school districts and emergency service departments. Those employers are expected to have at least 30 percent of payroll go towards paying down the unfunded liability, according to a January report from Matt Larrabee of Milliman, an actuarial firm that conducts PERS financial estimates.

(READ MORE: Statesman Journal)

Deschutes County departments plan to offset PERS costs with reserve funds.

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