Employer pension contributions to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System are slated to take a 6 percent jump on July 1, 2011, which marks the start of a new biennium.
However, concerned about placing a major new financial burden on strapped cities, counties and school districts, the PERS Board plans to consider two alternative options when it meets Friday in Tigard.
Because of the recession triggered by collapse of the banking and housing industries in the fall of 2008, the PERS investment portfolio has suffered along with everyone else's. Under current policy, that triggers a 6 percent rate hike to employers, double the normal increase, to begin making up the shortfall.
However, at its November meeting, the board asked its staff to develop some alternatives it could consider, in order to avoid such a big hit to public agencies already struggling to maintain operations.
In addition to the standard 6 percent increase, the board is scheduled to consider Friday:
n Limiting the increase to 3 percent for the 2011-13 biennium on a one-time basis.
n Establish a 3 to 6 percent variable scale, under which each agency's rate of increase would be based on figures particular to its circumstances.
The staff is recommending the latter option.
The board is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Friday at its Tigard office, 11410 S.W. 68th Parkway. For directions, visit www.oregon.gov/pers.