The PERS website has a chart that shows the enhancements, caps and reductions in PERS Benefits from 1972 through 2009. That chart shows that after the legislator’s allowed themselves to retroactively join PERS in 1975, more PERS benefit enhancements were implemented than at any other time in PERS history. By 1995, those enhancements enabled PERS members to retire in the mid-fifties, with full pay. That was not supposed to happen. To deal with that problem, the legislature began making changes to PERS, starting in 1996. From 1996 through 2009, 18 separate benefit caps and reductions were put in place. Only 4 of those 18 caps and reductions applied to PERS members who began working for the state before 1996. That included the legislators who had made or allowed all of the PERS enhancements during 1975 to 1995.
Once the legislators allowed themselves to join PERS, the majority did and those PERS legislators placed their own financial interest above the interests of the state and the people of Oregon. That is why Oregon again is facing a budget crisis. $2.5 billion will be required to be paid to PERS in employer contributions and picked up employee contributions during the 2011 – 2013 biennium. That is most of the projected budget deficit and it clearly establishes that the PERS legislators have made PERS the highest funding priority in Oregon.
Go to: http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/section/news/agency_news_archive.shtml to see the PERS chart. Click on 2010 Benefit Changes History and then click on History of PERS Benefit Enhancements, Caps, and reductions by Year.