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PERS Retirement Consultants

Proposed Legislative reform measures could significantly impact Oregon Public Employee Benefits

The current Oregon Legislative Assembly currently has nine reform measures under consideration. While PERS and PERS employers must refrain from interpreting potential legislative reform, employment attorneys, consultants, tax attorneys and the private sector at large are all allowed to assess the possible affects of any PERS Legislative Reform.  

The table below highlights the more potentially impacting 2019 PERS Legislative Reform Bills we closely monitor and are currently sitting in the 2019 Session:

2019 PERS Legislative Reform Bills

Complexities of Private & Public Pensions

The primary reason Pension Plans are so difficult to understand is not because of age or vesting. It has more to do with the fact that a Pension is similar to one of the most complex investment vehicles in the financial industry called an Annuity.

An annuity is defined in the dictionary as;

● A fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of their life.

● A form of insurance or investment entitling the investor to a series of annual sums.

This form of contract seems straight forward at first glance because it simply obligates one party to pay another.

When a beneficiary payout option is available, the choices can become much more complicated, especially hybrid beneficiary options:

A hybrid beneficiary payout option means the Pension has both non-survivorship and survivorship options, hence a wider range in monthly benefit amounts and choices.

Withdrawals from annuities, including partial withdrawals and surrenders, may be taxable. If you take a taxable withdrawal before age 59 ½ you may have to pay a 10% penalty to the IRS in addition to your normal income taxes. Purchasing an annuity with a retirement plan that already offers tax deferral results is no additional tax benefits. The guarantee of the annuity is backed by the financial strength of the underlying insurance company. Guarantees and benefits are subject to claims-paying ability of the insurance company. Although it is possible to have guaranteed income for life with a fixed annuity, there is no assurance that this income will keep up with inflation.

How Will PERS Reform Effect Me?

Clients have a myriad of risks they face during the three phases of their financial life which are: Accumulation, Preservation of Principal and Distribution.

Financial Professionals must use various forms of risk mitigation strategies toward achieving a client’s investment objectives and strategically limiting potential losses during each phase.

Common forms of risk our clients face everyday include Currency Risk, Inflation Risk and Market Risk.  

With planning, these type of risks may be reduced in severity.

However, Legislative Risk and Headline Risk are essentially heighted risks for Public Employees because there are both economic and political factors that can only be planned for but not reduced in severity.

The key distinction is not when reform happens, but how severe its impact will be. If there is no reform, Oregon PERS may not be able to pay its future liabilities unless it were bailed out by the Federal Government. While a Federal bail out of any state pension system would be unprecedented in nature, it is still a subject making recent headlines.

Since Oregon PERS is in a similar financial condition as California, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey, you can expect to see more pressure exerted on the legislature to act accordingly.

PERS Concierge Service

Oregon PERS actually consists of three separate retirement programs and is known to be one of the most complex pension systems in the United States. Even seasoned financial professionals dedicate years of training to assist PERS Member clients.

Our agency now offers an exclusive PERS Concierge Service designed to make your retirement journey easier.  

Regardless of where you reside, a full array of personnel and technology resources stand ready to assist both inactive and active PERS Members.

Haven Financial Group’s affiliated offices are located in Bend, Lake Oswego, Medford and Salem. Each branch leverages a secure video conferencing application to facilitate virtually any inquiry. We also conduct on-site retirement workshops to PERS-covered employers across the entire state.

The road to a simplified PERS Retirement begins with a one-hour Complimentary Consultation to assess your unique situation . . .

PERS Concierge Service - Summary

Attending a Oregon PERS sponsored retirement workshop guides you in researching critical aspects in the retirement process itself. However, there are several topics a PERS Member Services agent is prohibited from discussing, including, but not limited to;

  • Impact of Legislative Reform Initiatives on Future Benefits
  • Impact of Legislative Reform Initiatives on Future Employee Contribution Rates
  • Interpret Legislative Reform Initiatives
  • Taxation of Benefits
  • Tax Tables

While most PERS members are familiar with the 13 Benefit Options, not acquainting yourself with virtually every aspect of a PERS retirement can result in a costly delay of benefit payments.

Please call us today to schedule your complimentary consultation. A client services associate will provide you with the support documents we need to get you started in the last career of your lifetime – RETIREMENT!