On Wednesday, the task force appointed by Governor Kate Brown to develop solutions that reduce the unfunded liability of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), released its recommendations. The group was instructed to "think outside the box" and it appears they did.
Among the concepts in the 64-page report (available here), are the creation of a "PERS Resolution Plan." This would provide a matching fund for local PERS employers as an incentive to contribute funds to side accounts in order to pre-pay PERS liabilities. Providing the "seed money" for such a program would require additional analysis. The report also recognizes that preemptions on local government finances are a hindrance to the ability of cities to fund their pension obligations and should be examined.
Other recommendations would exempt the inclusion of school districts in urban renewal districts and limit economic development zone benefits. While these might provide short-term relief for some PERS employers, they would leave cities with a reduced capacity to revitalize themselves and grow their economies. The League looks forward to continued conversations with policy makers that will result in the reduction of mandated PERS costs.
Contact: Scott Winkels, Intergovernmental Relations Associate – firstname.lastname@example.org
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