Oregon Public Employees Want to Stop Name Release

January 20, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Public employees asked the Oregon legislature to block the state’s pension system from releasing the names of workers and retirees.

A bill is expected to be introduced as a courtesy to a coalition of public employee unions, according to the Associated Press.  

The newspapers argue that the individually identifiable information provides transparency. Many retirees view it as an invasion of privacy and say it will subject them to unwanted financial solicitations and identity theft.  

The Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) used to provide the information, but stopped in 2002. The news report said last year, it reached a settlement with The Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal. PERS released the names and monthly benefits of 110,000 retirees in November.  

A second batch of information is to be released in March, including retirees’ years of service, retirement date, final average salary and the method used to calculate benefits.  

“This doesn’t interfere with any of the other information being released, but we don’t think that the name itself is necessary,” said Greg Hartman, a Portland lawyer representing the coalition, according to the Associated Press.  

Public pension disclosure has met with challenges in other states as well (see Nev. Pension Fund Challenging Pensioner Disclosure Ruling).