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Tue Feb 14, 2017, 08:23 AM

PERS changes would hit newer, younger workers harder

SALEM ó State lawmakers got their first real glimpse Monday of the difficult political choices they face in seeking to curb the growing cost of public employee pensions this year.

Without changes, public school board members and superintendents argued at a public hearing that the Public Employees Retirement System will gobble up more and more of their budgets over the next six to 10 years, causing teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.

The systemís unfunded liability ó the difference between its assets and the benefits it has promised ó now stands at $22 billion and will grow further if the fundís investments return less than 7.5 percent a year.

Lane Countyís biggest public agencies, for example, are projected to have to pay a combined extra $18 million into PERS next fiscal year, an increase of around 20 percent. More big hikes are likely in 2019 and 2021.

Read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35279519-75/pers-changes-would-hit-newer-younger-workers-harder.html.csp#

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