A study of public sector retirement benefits by The Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States found that "Oregon currently has the best-funded pension system in the country, and it is one of just six states on track to fund its modest retiree health benefits as well." (PDF - Oregon summary)
Touted by the Center on the States as "the first 50-state analysis of its kind", the report's findings include:
By 2006, only five states — Florida, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin — had pension funding ratios at a 100 percent or greater level.
At the end of fiscal year 2006, just six states — Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin — were on track to have fully funded their non-pension obligations [primarily health care] during the next 30 years.
Here's the story from the New York Times (PDF).
Isn't it time for the loudmouths like Lars Larson and the "let people fend for themselves for their education and against drug companies, polluters and loan sharks etc" libertarian ideologues to stop complaining about PERS?
They may have pension envy because private sector pensions have been eroded and/or may not appreciate everything the Oregon public servants who are part of PERS do for Oregonians every day, but this report makes clear that they shouldn't be complaining about the fiscal condition of the program.
The next time you hear someone complain that Oregon's PERS has fiscal problems, tell 'em Oregon's public employee retirement system is the best funded system in the country and to read Promises with a Price.
Chuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at www.ocpp.org