2015 ORS § 238.005¹
For purposes of this chapter:
(1) Active member means a member who is presently employed by a participating public employer in a qualifying position and who has completed the six-month period of service required by ORS 238.015 (Membership generally).
(2) Annuity means payments for life derived from contributions made by a member as provided in this chapter.
(3) Board means the Public Employees Retirement Board.
(4) Calendar year means 12 calendar months commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31 following.
(5) Continuous service means service not interrupted for more than five years, except that such continuous service shall be computed without regard to interruptions in the case of:
(a) An employee who had returned to the service of the employer as of January 1, 1945, and who remained in that employment until having established membership in the Public Employees Retirement System.
(b) An employee who was in the armed services on January 1, 1945, and returned to the service of the employer within one year of the date of being otherwise than dishonorably discharged and remained in that employment until having established membership in the Public Employees Retirement System.
(6) Creditable service means any period of time during which an active member is being paid a salary by a participating public employer and for which benefits under this chapter are funded by employer contributions and earnings on the fund. For purposes of computing years of creditable service, full months and major fractions of a month shall be considered to be one-twelfth of a year and shall be added to all full years. Creditable service includes all retirement credit received by a member.
(7) Earliest service retirement age means the age attained by a member when the member could first make application for retirement under the provisions of ORS 238.280 (Eligibility for retirement).
(8) Employee includes, in addition to employees, public officers, but does not include:
(a) Persons engaged as independent contractors.
(b) Seasonal, emergency or casual workers whose periods of employment with any public employer or public employers do not total 600 hours in any calendar year.
(c) Persons provided sheltered employment or made-work by a public employer in an employment or industries program maintained for the benefit of such persons.
(d) Persons employed and paid from federal funds received under a federal program intended primarily to alleviate unemployment. However, any such person shall be considered an employee if not otherwise excluded by paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection and the public employer elects to have the person so considered by an irrevocable written notice to the board.
(e) Persons who are employees of a railroad, as defined in ORS 824.020 (Definitions for ORS 824.020 to 824.042), and who, as such employees, are included in a retirement plan under federal railroad retirement statutes. This paragraph shall be deemed to have been in effect since the inception of the system.
(9) Final average salary means whichever of the following is greater:
(a) The average salary per calendar year paid by one or more participating public employers to an employee who is an active member of the system in three of the calendar years of membership before the effective date of retirement of the employee, in which three years the employee was paid the highest salary. The three calendar years in which the employee was paid the largest total salary may include calendar years in which the employee was employed for less than a full calendar year. If the number of calendar years of active membership before the effective date of retirement of the employee is three or fewer, the final average salary for the employee is the average salary per calendar year paid by one or more participating public employers to the employee in all of those years, without regard to whether the employee was employed for the full calendar year.
(b) One-third of the total salary paid by a participating public employer to an employee who is an active member of the system in the last 36 calendar months of active membership before the effective date of retirement of the employee.
(10) Firefighter does not include a volunteer firefighter, but does include:
(a) The State Fire Marshal, the chief deputy fire marshal and deputy state fire marshals; and
(b) An employee of the State Forestry Department who is certified by the State Forester as a professional wildland firefighter and whose primary duties include the abatement of uncontrolled fires as described in ORS 477.064 (Uncontrolled fire declared nuisance).
(11) Fiscal year means 12 calendar months commencing on July 1 and ending on June 30 following.
(12) Fund means the Public Employees Retirement Fund.
(13) Inactive member means a member who is not employed in a qualifying position, whose membership has not been terminated in the manner described by ORS 238.095 (Termination of membership) and who is not retired for service or disability.
(14) Institution of higher education means a public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities), the Oregon Health and Science University and a community college, as defined in ORS 341.005 (Definitions for chapter).
(15) Member means a person who has established membership in the system and whose membership has not been terminated as described in ORS 238.095 (Termination of membership). Member includes active, inactive and retired members.
(16) Member account means the regular account and the variable account.
(17) Normal retirement age means:
(a) For a person who establishes membership in the system before January 1, 1996, as described in ORS 238.430 (Limitation on benefits payable to persons establishing membership on or after January 1, 1996), 55 years of age if the employee retires at that age as a police officer or firefighter or 58 years of age if the employee retires at that age as other than a police officer or firefighter.
(b) For a person who establishes membership in the system on or after January 1, 1996, as described in ORS 238.430 (Limitation on benefits payable to persons establishing membership on or after January 1, 1996), 55 years of age if the employee retires at that age as a police officer or firefighter or 60 years of age if the employee retires at that age as other than a police officer or firefighter.
(18) Pension means annual payments for life derived from contributions by one or more public employers.
(19) Police officer includes:
(a) Employees of institutions defined in ORS 421.005 (Definitions) as Department of Corrections institutions whose duties, as assigned by the Director of the Department of Corrections, include the custody of persons committed to the custody of or transferred to the Department of Corrections and employees of the Department of Corrections who were classified as police officers on or before July 27, 1989, whether or not such classification was authorized by law.
(b) Employees of the Department of State Police who are classified as police officers by the Superintendent of State Police.
(c) Employees of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission who are classified as regulatory specialists by the administrator of the commission.
(d) Sheriffs and those deputy sheriffs or other employees of a sheriff whose duties, as classified by the sheriff, are the regular duties of police officers or corrections officers.
(e) Police chiefs and police personnel of a city who are classified as police officers by the council or other governing body of the city.
(f) Police officers who are commissioned by a university under ORS 352.121 (University police departments and officers) or 353.125 (Creation of police department and commission of police officers) and who are classified as police officers by the university.
(g) Parole and probation officers employed by the Department of Corrections, parole and probation officers who are transferred to county employment under ORS 423.549 (State positions in community corrections branch) and adult parole and probation officers, as defined in ORS 181A.355 (Definitions for ORS 181A.355 to 181A.670), who are classified as police officers for the purposes of this chapter by the county governing body. If a county classifies adult parole and probation officers as police officers for the purposes of this chapter, and the employees so classified are represented by a labor organization, any proposal by the county to change that classification or to cease to classify adult parole and probation officers as police officers for the purposes of this chapter is a mandatory subject of bargaining.
(i) Employees of the Port of Portland who are classified as airport police by the Board of Commissioners of the Port of Portland.
(j) Employees of the State Department of Agriculture who are classified as livestock police officers by the Director of Agriculture.
(k) Employees of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training who are classified by the department as other than secretarial or clerical personnel.
(L) Investigators of the Criminal Justice Division of the Department of Justice.
(m) Corrections officers as defined in ORS 181A.355 (Definitions for ORS 181A.355 to 181A.670).
(n) Employees of the Oregon State Lottery Commission who are classified by the Director of the Oregon State Lottery as enforcement agents pursuant to ORS 461.110 (Criminal identification information available to lottery).
(o) The Director of the Department of Corrections.
(p) An employee who for seven consecutive years has been classified as a police officer as defined by this section, and who is employed or transferred by the Department of Corrections to fill a position designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections as being eligible for police officer status.
(q) An employee of the Department of Corrections classified as a police officer on or prior to July 27, 1989, whether or not that classification was authorized by law, as long as the employee remains in the position held on July 27, 1989. The initial classification of an employee under a system implemented pursuant to ORS 240.190 (Policy on comparability of value of work and compensation and classification) does not affect police officer status.
(r) Employees of a school district who are appointed and duly sworn members of a law enforcement agency of the district as provided in ORS 332.531 (Law enforcement agency) or otherwise employed full-time as police officers commissioned by the district.
(s) Employees at youth correction facilities and juvenile detention facilities under ORS 419A.050 (Authority to acquire, equip and maintain detention and shelter facilities), 419A.052 (Specifications of facilities) and 420.005 (Definitions) to 420.915 (Procedure upon apprehension of escapee, absentee or parole violator) who are required to hold valid Oregon teaching licenses and who have supervisory, control or teaching responsibilities over juveniles committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections or the Oregon Youth Authority.
(t) Employees at youth correction facilities as defined in ORS 420.005 (Definitions) whose primary job description involves the custody, control, treatment, investigation or supervision of juveniles placed in such facilities.
(u) Employees of the Oregon Youth Authority who are classified as juvenile parole and probation officers.
(v) Employees of the Department of Human Services who are prohibited from striking under ORS 243.726 (Public employee strikes) and whose duties include the care of residents of residential facilities, as defined in ORS 443.400 (Definitions for ORS 443.400 to 443.455), that house individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
(21) Public employer means the state, one of its agencies, any city, county, or municipal or public corporation, any political subdivision of the state or any instrumentality thereof, or an agency created by one or more such governmental organizations to provide governmental services. For purposes of this chapter, such agency created by one or more governmental organizations is a governmental instrumentality and a legal entity with power to enter into contracts, hold property and sue and be sued.
(22) Qualifying position means one or more jobs with one or more participating public employers in which an employee performs 600 or more hours of service in a calendar year, excluding any service in a job for which a participating public employer does not provide benefits under this chapter pursuant to an application made under ORS 238.035 (Membership of part but not all employees of a public employer).
(23) Regular account means the account established for each active and inactive member under ORS 238.250 (Regular accounts).
(24) Retired member means a member who is retired for service or disability.
(25) Retirement credit means a period of time that is treated as creditable service for the purposes of this chapter.
(26)(a) Salary means the remuneration paid an employee in cash out of the funds of a public employer in return for services to the employer, plus the monetary value, as determined by the Public Employees Retirement Board, of whatever living quarters, board, lodging, fuel, laundry and other advantages the employer furnishes the employee in return for services.
(b) Salary includes but is not limited to:
(A) Payments of employee and employer money into a deferred compensation plan, which are deemed salary paid in each month of deferral;
(B) The amount of participation in a tax-sheltered or deferred annuity, which is deemed salary paid in each month of participation;
(C) Retroactive payments described in ORS 238.008 (Computation of salary); and
(D) Wages of a deceased member paid to a surviving spouse or dependent children under ORS 652.190 (Payment of wages to surviving spouse or dependent children).
(c) Salary or other advantages does not include:
(A) Travel or any other expenses incidental to employers business which is reimbursed by the employer;
(B) Payments for insurance coverage by an employer on behalf of employee or employee and dependents, for which the employee has no cash option;
(C) Payments made on account of an employees death;
(D) Any lump sum payment for accumulated unused sick leave;
(E) Any accelerated payment of an employment contract for a future period or an advance against future wages;
(F) Any retirement incentive, retirement severance pay, retirement bonus or retirement gratuitous payment;
(G) Payments for periods of leave of absence after the date the employer and employee have agreed that no future services qualifying pursuant to ORS 238.015 (Membership generally) (3) will be performed, except for sick leave and vacation;
(H) Payments for instructional services rendered to public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) or the Oregon Health and Science University when such services are in excess of full-time employment subject to this chapter. A person employed under a contract for less than 12 months is subject to this subparagraph only for the months to which the contract pertains; or
(I) Payments made by an employer for insurance coverage provided to a domestic partner of an employee.
(27) School year means the period beginning July 1 and ending June 30 next following.
(28) System means the Public Employees Retirement System.
(29) Variable account means the account established for a member who participates in the Variable Annuity Account under ORS 238.260 (Variable Annuity Account).
(30) Vested means being an active member of the system in each of five calendar years.
(31) Volunteer firefighter means a firefighter whose position normally requires less than 600 hours of service per year. [Formerly 237.003; 1997 c.249 §64; 1997 c.853 §36; 1999 c.317 §24; 1999 c.407 §3; 1999 c.971 §1; 2001 c.295 §9; 2001 c.874 §1; 2001 c.945 §29a; 2001 c.968 §1; 2003 c.14 §112; 2003 c.67 §16; 2003 c.625 §20; 2005 c.152 §5; 2005 c.332 §1; 2009 c.762 §47; 2010 c.1 §8; 2011 c.9 §22; 2011 c.506 §32; 2011 c.637 §72; 2012 c.54 §30; 2013 c.180 §35a; 2013 c.768 §109; 2014 c.107 §§2,3; 2015 c.614 §159; 2015 c.822 §1]
Note: Section 2, chapter 971, Oregon Laws 1999, provides:
Sec. 2. (1) The amendments to ORS 238.005 (Definitions) by section 1, chapter 971, Oregon Laws 1999, apply only to persons specified in ORS 238.005 (Definitions) (10)(b) who are employed by the State Forestry Department on October 23, 1999, or who become employed by the State Forestry Department after October 23, 1999.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the amendments to ORS 238.005 (Definitions) by section 1, chapter 971, Oregon Laws 1999, apply only to service rendered to a participating public employer on or after October 23, 1999.
(3) Any employee who is employed by the State Forestry Department in a position described in ORS 238.005 (Definitions) (10)(b) on October 23, 1999, may acquire creditable service in the Public Employees Retirement System as a firefighter for service performed by the employee in a position described in ORS 238.005 (Definitions) (10)(b) before October 23, 1999, by paying to the Public Employees Retirement Board an amount determined by the board to represent the full cost to the system of providing credit as a firefighter to the member. The member may acquire credit as a firefighter for all or part of the service in a position described in ORS 238.005 (Definitions) (10)(b) performed before October 23, 1999. All amounts required for acquisition of credit as a firefighter under this subsection must be paid at least 90 days before a members effective date of retirement. The board may by rule allow members to pay amounts required under this subsection in installments in lieu of requiring a single lump sum payment. Amounts required under this subsection may be paid using moneys transferred by way of a trustee-to-trustee transfer as described in ORS 238.222 (Trustee-to-trustee transfers to fund restoration of forfeited service or purchase of retirement credit). [1999 c.971 §2; 2011 c.9 §23; 2011 c.722 §8]