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PERS: What Went Wrong and How Bad Is It?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Next school year, PERS will cost school districts an additional $200 million. That’s the equivalent of employing 2,224 teachers.  Experts predict that PERS costs will continue to rise for years.

The problem arises from Oregon’s unique “money match” PERS program that enables many employees to earn more in retirement than they did while working.  The result is a very expensive system that, as a share of our economy, is the third most costly in the U.S.

As the Governor and legislators wrestle with solutions, it’s important to understand the nature of the problem.

Watch this short video, prepared for the Oregon School Boards Association and narrated by economist John Tapogna, to learn about how we got here, and what will happen if we don’t fix the system now.

What is the Oregon Business Plan?

The Oregon Business Plan is an effort by the state’s business leaders to create 25, 000 new jobs across Oregon each year and raise Oregon’s per capita income above the national average. The Plan is a collaborative effort among several business leaders and business associations, developed in close partnership with Oregon’s elected leadership.

We envision achieving the Business Plan goals by growing diverse, thriving clusters of industries that are global leaders in product design and innovation. The strategy to boost these industries is to improve the conditions necessary for them to succeed: talented people, greater productivity, quality of place, and pioneering innovation – what we call the 4Ps for prosperity.

Learn more at

Reprinted with permission from Oregon Business Plan


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