National Association of State Retirement Administrators


The Oregon Public Employees Retirement System administers pension and other benefits for employees of the state and most political subdivisions, including school districts. The Oregon Legislature in 2003 established an alternative plan design, known as the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP). The OPSRP is a hybrid, providing an employer-funded defined benefit component with a multiplier of 1.5 percent (1.8 percent for public safety personnel) with mandatory participation in a defined contribution plan. The system also sponsors a deferred comp plan for state employees.

Authorizing Statutes

Section 238.45 of the Oregon Statutes established the defined benefit plan:

238.485 Fund established. (1) Pursuant to section 415(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, there is established a Public Employee Benefit Equalization Fund, separate and distinct from the General Fund and from the Public Employees Retirement Fund. The Public Employee Benefit Equalization Fund is declared to be a trust fund. Interest earned on the fund, if any, shall inure to the benefit of the fund. The Public Employees Retirement Board shall administer the fund and shall act as trustee for the fund.

Section 238A.025 creates the hybrid plan:

238A.025 Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan established. (1) The Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan is established. The purpose of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan is to provide career public employees with a secure and fair retirement income at an affordable, stable and predictable cost to the taxpayers. The Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan is composed of a pension program and an individual account program.

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Oregon Employees Retirement System







Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2021, employer contributions to Oregon state and local government pension plans were 4.19 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts protect contractual pension rights based on impairment of contract principles. Strunk v. Public Employees Retirement Bd., 108 P.3d 1058 (Ore. 2005) (holding that suspension of COLA benefits breached obligation of contract under OR. Const., Article I, §21); Oregon Police Officers' Ass'n v. State, 918 P.2d 765 (1996)(once employee provides services in reliance on promise to provide benefits on retirement, employer is contractually bound to honor promise); but see Goodson v. Public Employees Retirement System, 264 P.3d 148 (Or. 2011)(public Employees Retirement Board (PERB) did not unconstitutionally impair contract rights of certain retirees by reducing earnings credit for 1999 from 20 percent to 11.33 percent, where PERB lacked statutory authority to promise 20 percent earnings credit). (OR CONST., Article I, §21) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Oregon (obverse)(April 15, 1925)[5]

Population (2022) 4,240,137

Oregon public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2022 ($ in 000s)



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