Sickinger on PERS COLA cuts

10/8/2013: Ted Sickinger is an investigative reporter for the Oregonian. His piece on Mike Bellotti’s PERS scam was a classic.

At retirement, Bellotti’s post divorce account balance was only $300,000. The university made its own contributions over the 21 years he was employed. But combined, they won’t come close to covering the $5 million benefit reserve that PERS established to cover his payments.

Carefully documented with public records, obtained only after a long and expensive public records battle which led to the publishing of all Oregon PERS payments online:

He’s just published an excellent piece on the politics and finances behind Kitzhaber’s deal to cut the PERS COLA, and the chances the unions will be able to get it declared illegal:

… Then there’s the legal question. 

Senate Bill 861 establishes a fixed annual adjustment starting in 2014 of 1.25 percent on PERS benefit amounts up to $60,000, and 0.15 percent on benefits above that amount. That would supercede the tiered COLA limits that were passed last spring. And it would replace the adjustment in place since 1973, which was based on the cost of living index for the Portland metropolitan area and limited to 2 percent per year — applied to all benefits. …

Worth reading it all. 

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