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PERS task force recommends privatizing state universities

That idea gets cold shoulder from Gov. Brown

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A task force has recommended how to shrink the state's pension-fund deficit by $5 billion, and two of the suggestions - including privatizing the state's public universities - got a cold reception from Gov. Kate Brown.

Brown thanked the seven members of her task force for their research and commitment to identify ways for Oregon to keep its promise to retirees. She had convened the task force to identify opportunities to pay up to a quarter of the Public Employee Retirement System, or PERS, unfunded liability.

That deficit has ballooned to at least $25.3 billion.

Brown directed her staff to research the proposed the idea of pooling excess capital across state controlled entities and to examine creating an incentive fund to partially match employers who further contribute to unfunded liabilities.

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Gov. Brown's news release:

PERS UAL Task Force Submits Final Report to Governor Brown

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today received the final report from the PERS UAL Task Force. Governor Brown thanks the members for their research and commitment to leave "no idea unexamined and no rock unturned" in identifying ways for Oregon to keep its promise to retirees.

Governor Brown convened the task force to identify opportunities to pay up to a quarter of the Public Employee Retirement System’s Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) over the next five years. Paying down a portion of the UAL ahead of schedule will slow the growth of employer rates and start lowering them more quickly.

Governor Brown directed her staff to further research the proposed the idea of pooling excess capital across state controlled entities and to examine creating an incentive fund to partially match employers who further contribute to their UALs. In the coming weeks, staff will be reaching out to key stakeholders and researching these and other report findings to identify methods to capitalize the incentive fund and develop legislation for the 2018 session. 

Governor Brown has also expressed to staff serious concerns about the task force's proposals to privatize public universities and sell SAIF.  

DOWNLOAD: PERS UAL TASK FORCE FINAL REPORT

 

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