OR County Hedges Bets on PERS Contribution

September 10, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - At least one Oregon county isn't taking any chances when it comes to a potential lowering of its contribution to the state's Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).

Officials of Washington County, located near Portland, have bankrolled the difference between the 17.18% pension contribution for which they had budgeted and the 11.16% they will be charged if recently enacted pension reforms stand up to expected court challenges, according to the Hillsboro (Oregon) Argus (See  Oregon AG Says PERS Measures Won’t Pass Muster ).

That way, if the courts throw out legislative changes to PERS and the original contribution rate is reinstated, the county would already have the money, said County Administrator Charlie Cameron.

On the other hand, If the courts uphold the changes, the fund would provide a head start on making next year’s contributions, he added, noting that employer’ rates are projected to increase for several years (See  OPERS Passes Pension Funding Hat to State, Local Governments  ).