Gov. Kate Brown's new law requires state and local government workers to pay some of their retirement benefits.

The PERS retirement package was negotiated in the 1970s and 1980s. Money markets were paying something like 17% interest. PERS retirees were drawing an 8% increase in retirement pay each year, but now interest rates and inflation have dropped.

Military and Social Security retirees receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment based upon the inflation rate of a select group of items. For the years 2015 and 2016, military and Social Security retirees did not receive any cost-of-living adjustment. In fact, our take-home pay was reduced due to increases in Part B Medicare payments. PERS retirees got their normal adjustments.

In 1957 we were told that if we served for 20 years we would be provided medical care for the rest of our lives. Now in Roseburg, a veteran who receives care from the Roseburg VA Medical center cannot afford to get sick on the weekend. If he or she goes to Mercy without prior approval from the VA, the veteran is responsible for any costs.

Those on flying status in the Air Force were told we would continue to receive our flight pay so long as we could pass our annual flight physical and flew a minimum of 4 hours each month. I didn't trust this, so I banked my flight pay. In 1977 I lost my flight pay as my primary duties did not involve flying. At times it is necessary for promises to be broken. If PERS retirees really care about others, specifically our students, they they must tighten their belt too. We just can't keep on spending money that we don't have.

Leonard Riley III


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(4) comments


What's happening with Kate Brown's retirement & benefit package. Is she "Tightening her belt?" I sincerely doubt it.


I retired from Cal-Pers in 2007. Our state legislators signed our contracts every two years (Sometimes three). We didn't sign our own benefit and retirement packages. Only politicians can do that. Where's the outrage there? Where's the benefit and retirement cut backs there? Try NONE! Some of them only work part of the year retire early, and get lifetime benefits AT NO COST. Talk about robbing the public, but no outcry is heard. Instead, the states want to lay it on the retirees who ACTUALLY worked for thirty years to earn it. Oh and by the way we paid taxes, too. We contributed to our pensions, too! Point the finger at the people who ok'd these benefits, not the people on the receiving end. Some of us risked our lives for them.


I completely agree. Their contracts were changed many times over the years to allow for pay increases, benefit adjustments, paid time off, etc... The system is unsustainable and adjustments have to be made. Sorry, there was no crystal ball, so this is part of life, especially for the rest of us that don't work for the government. Seriously, why is it okay for me to pay more taxes, my parents to get less social security, just so they can have cost of living increases, etc... so as not to effect their standard of living? Meanwhile, our kids are going to be the ones who suffer.


People who are retired earned their pay. If you want to change the system, it has to occur with the people currently working...otherwise, it is breach of contract. You cannot expect someone who retired with a promise (you should know) to then be told that was a mistake.

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