The following information regarding PERS Employer and Employee contributions is taken from the PERS website: http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/, under What’s News, PERS at a Glance (10/1/10).
In 2009, $8.5 billion dollars was paid in salary to PERS employees. Public employers picked up the employee contributions for 70% of the PERS members. That pick-up amount equals $357,000,000 that government agencies paid for their employees rather for the services they were created to provide. Public employers are not required to pick-up employee PERS contribution. They chose to do so and that choice is often made by management employees who are PERS members whose own employee contributions will be picked up as a result of that decision.
In the 2011 – 2013 biennium, PERS employer contributions will rise from 5.2% to 10.8% of payroll. The annual PERS payroll during that period is estimated at $9.8 billion dollars and the PERS employer contributions will be $1.058 billion. After pick-up contributions of $411 million are added to the employer contributions, over $1.46 billion dollars a year will be paid to PERS. That amount must be paid first and state agencies will have to make do with what is left.
The employer contribution will increase by $550 million a year during the 2011 – 2013 period to make up for PERS investment losses. The PERS legislators passed laws which require the people of Oregon to guarantee all PERS members, including the PERS legislators, against investment losses. That guarantee could only have been made by people who were promoting their own self interests, not the interest of the people they were elected to represent. That is just plain wrong.