Last Oregon PERS Reform Piece Moves to Conference Committee

July 10, 2003 ( - The last major piece of pension reform legislation to go through the Oregon legislature got hung up Wednesday as the House of Representatives rejected a Senate bill creating a pension system for future public workers as being too costly.

The issue of what type of pension to provide new state and local government employees now ends up in a House-Senate conference committee that will try to hammer out a compromise, according to an Associated Press report.

The House vote came as Oregon lawmakers continued their to-and-fro about the last major element of a package to reduce the long-term $17-billion shortfall facing the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).

House members okayed a plan in May that would provide only 401(k)-style investment accounts for future public employees. Meanwhile, the Senate version, approved earlier this week, contains the 401(k)-type account as well as a traditional defined benefit pension program.


Both plans would be less expensive than the current system, which critics say has gotten into trouble because it has been overly generous with public employees.