2017 ORS 238.305¹
Optional service retirement allowance calculations

(1) Not later than 60 days after the first benefit payment is made to a retired member of the Public Employees Retirement System, the member may elect to convert the allowance described by ORS 238.300 (Service retirement allowance) as payable after retirement into a service retirement annuity of equivalent actuarial value of one of the optional forms named below. The election of Option 2, 2A, 3 or 3A shall be effective immediately upon the member’s retirement.

Option 1. (a) A life annuity (nonrefund) payable during the member’s life only, which shall be the actuarial equivalent of accumulated contributions by the member and interest thereon credited at the time of retirement (if death occurs before the first payment is due, the member account shall be treated as though death had occurred before retirement); (b) a life pension (nonrefund) provided by the contributions of employers as provided in ORS 238.300 (Service retirement allowance) (2); (c) an additional nonrefund pension for prior service credit, including military service, credited to the member at the time of first becoming a member of the system, as elsewhere provided in this chapter, which pension shall be provided by the contributions of the employer; or

Option 2. A reduced service retirement allowance payable during the member’s life, with the provision that it continue after death for the life of the beneficiary the member nominates by written designation duly acknowledged and filed with the Public Employees Retirement Board at the time of election, should the beneficiary survive the member; or

Option 2A. A reduced service retirement allowance payable during the member’s life which, unless modified under subsection (6) of this section, continues after death for the life of the beneficiary the member nominates by written designation duly acknowledged and filed with the board at the time of election, should the beneficiary survive the member; or

Option 3. A reduced service retirement allowance payable during the member’s life, with the provision that it continue after death at one-half the rate paid to the member and be paid for the life of the beneficiary the member nominates by written designation duly acknowledged and filed with the board at the time of election, should the beneficiary survive the member; or

Option 3A. A reduced service retirement allowance payable during the member’s life which, unless modified under subsection (6) of this section, continues after death at one-half the rate paid to the member and is paid for the life of the beneficiary the member nominates by written designation duly acknowledged and filed with the board at the time of election, should the beneficiary survive the member; or

Option 4. A reduced service retirement allowance payable during the member’s life, with the provisions that if the member dies before a total of 180 monthly payments is made, the remainder of the 180 monthly payments shall be paid monthly to the beneficiary the member nominates by written designation duly acknowledged and filed with the board at any time before the member’s death; and that if the member designates no beneficiary to receive the monthly payments or no such beneficiary is able to receive the monthly payments, an amount equal to the actuarial value, on the date of the member’s death, of the total of the monthly payments not made to the member shall be paid according to ORS 238.390 (Death benefit) for disposal of an amount credited to the member account of a member at the time of death; and that if the beneficiary receiving monthly payments dies before the total number of monthly payments to which the beneficiary is entitled is made, an amount equal to the actuarial value, on the date of the beneficiary’s death, of the total of the monthly payments not made to the member and beneficiary shall be paid according to ORS 238.390 (Death benefit) for disposal of an amount credited to the member account of a member at the time of death and as if the beneficiary had been a member.

(2) Not later than 60 days after the first benefit payment is made to a retired member of the system, the member may elect, in lieu of the allowance described by ORS 238.300 (Service retirement allowance) as payable after retirement, a service retirement benefit consisting of:

(a) A refund of accumulated contributions by the member and interest thereon credited at the time of refund; and

(b) A life pension (nonrefund) provided by the contributions of employers as provided in ORS 237.147 (2) (1979 Replacement Part), and an additional life pension (nonrefund) for prior service credit as provided in ORS 238.300 (Service retirement allowance) (3). At the same time as making the election under this subsection, the member may elect to convert the pensions described by this paragraph into a service retirement annuity of equivalent actuarial value of one of the optional forms named as Option 2, 2A, 3 or 3A under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Not later than 60 days after the first benefit payment is made to a retired member of the system, the member may elect in lieu of the allowance described by ORS 238.300 (Service retirement allowance) a refund service retirement benefit consisting of:

(a) A refund of accumulated contributions by the member and interest thereon credited at the time of retirement;

(b) An amount that matches the amount of accumulated contributions by the member and interest thereon, provided by the contributions of employers; and

(c) Interest on the amounts described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection from the effective date of retirement until the amounts are paid.

(4)(a) If the member elects to receive the service retirement benefit described in subsection (2) or (3) of this section, the member shall elect at the same time to receive the refund described in subsection (2)(a) or (3) of this section in one lump sum payment or in more than one but not more than five installment payments. If the member elects installment payments:

(A) The amount to be paid by employer contributions under subsection (3)(b) of this section shall be transferred to the individual account of the member in the Public Employees Retirement Fund as of the effective date of retirement.

(B) The installment payments shall be paid once each year for the number of consecutive years equal to the number of installment payments elected.

(C) The amount of each installment payment shall be designated by the member at the time of making the election, but the last installment payment shall be the unrefunded balance remaining in the member account of the member in the fund.

(D) The member account of the member in the fund shall be maintained until the last installment payment is paid. The board shall establish procedures for computing and crediting interest annually on the unrefunded balance of the member account.

(E) A yearly installment payment shall be paid on the anniversary of the date of the first installment payment.

(F) The member is considered to have elected to transfer any balance in the variable account of the member to the regular account of the member.

(G) If the member dies before payment of all installment payments, the unrefunded balance in the member account of the member plus interest to date of disbursement is payable as provided in ORS 238.390 (Death benefit) (4).

(b) If a member elects to receive the refund service retirement benefit described in subsection (3) of this section, and does not elect to receive those amounts in installments under the provisions of this subsection, all rights of the member in the system shall terminate upon the payment of the amounts provided for in subsection (3) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection. If a member elects to receive the refund service retirement benefit described in subsection (3) of this section, and also elects to receive those amounts in installments under the provisions of this subsection, all rights of the member in the system shall terminate upon the making of the first payment, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection.

(c) A member who elects to receive the refund service retirement benefit described in subsection (3) of this section, and any eligible spouse or dependent of the member, shall continue to be eligible for insurance under ORS 238.410 (Board may contract for insurance for retirees), and for any premium payments the member may be entitled to under ORS 238.415 (Payment toward cost of pre-Medicare insurance) and 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance).

(5) The designation of a beneficiary, the election of an option or any other election or designation under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section may be changed by the member within 60 days after the date of the first benefit payment, except that the designation of a beneficiary under Option 4 may be changed by the member at any time before the member’s death.

(6) If a retired member has elected to receive a service retirement allowance under Option 2A or Option 3A as provided in subsection (1) of this section, and if the beneficiary under that option dies after the expiration of the time within which the member could change the election of an option or if the beneficiary is the spouse of the member and the marriage relationship is terminated as provided by law after the expiration of the time within which the member could change the election of an option, the member may elect to receive, in lieu of the optional form of allowance previously elected, the allowance that the member would have received on the effective date of retirement under Option 1 as provided in subsection (1) of this section and adjusted by the actual amount of any cost-of-living or other post-retirement adjustments made to the original allowance since the effective date of retirement. Notice of election under this subsection must be in a form approved by the board. If an election is made under this subsection, the Option 1 payment amount is applicable to the first full month after the death of the beneficiary, or the first full month after entry of the judgment of divorce, and payable the first day of the month thereafter. If the increased amount is not paid in any month in which the increased amount is due, the board shall make a lump sum payment to the retired member that is equal to the difference between the amount paid to the member for that month and the amount that should have been paid under the provisions of this subsection.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any member of the system who retired before October 3, 1989, and elected to receive a service retirement allowance under either Option 2 or 3 as provided in subsection (1) of this section shall be entitled to receive a service retirement allowance equal to that which the member would have received on the effective date of retirement under Option 1 as provided in subsection (1) of this section and adjusted by the actual amount of any cost-of-living or other post-retirement adjustments made to the original allowance since the effective date of retirement if:

(a) The member has attained 80 years of age;

(b) The person designated by the member as the member’s beneficiary has predeceased the member; and

(c) The member gives written notice to the board of the death of the member’s beneficiary.

(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any member of the system who retired before October 3, 1989, who elected to receive a refund of accumulated employee contributions and a life pension or pensions under subsection (2) of this section, and who elected to convert the life pension or pensions provided for in subsection (2) of this section into a service retirement annuity under Option 2 or 3 under subsection (1) of this section, shall be entitled to receive a life pension or pensions equal to that which the member would have received on the effective date of retirement under subsection (2) of this section and adjusted by the actual amount of any cost-of-living or other post-retirement adjustments made to the original life pension or pensions since the effective date of retirement if:

(a) The member has attained 80 years of age;

(b) The person designated by the member as the member’s beneficiary has predeceased the member; and

(c) The member gives written notice to the board of the death of the member’s beneficiary.

(9) The service retirement allowance provided in subsection (7) or (8) of this section shall be applicable to the first full month after the death of the member’s beneficiary, or the first full month after the member attains 80 years of age, whichever is later.

(10) The board may deny an election to convert a service retirement allowance under this section, a change of beneficiary under this section or a change in benefit options under this section if that denial is required to maintain the status of the system and the Public Employees Retirement Fund as a qualified governmental retirement plan and trust under the Internal Revenue Code and under regulations adopted pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. [Formerly 237.155; 1997 c.180 §1; 1999 c.317 §10; 2001 c.945 §§8,68; 2003 c.625 §3; 2005 c.138 §1]

Note: Section 3, chapter 180, Oregon Laws 1997, provides:

Sec. 3. (1) If on October 4, 1997, a retired member is eligible for the service retirement allowance provided by ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations) (7) or (8) but was not eligible under ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations) (1995 Edition):

(a) The member may give written notice of the member’s eligibility to the Public Employees Retirement Board at any time after October 4, 1997; and

(b) The service retirement allowance of the retired member under ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations) (7) or (8) is first applicable to the first full month after the death of the member’s beneficiary, or the first full month after the member attained 80 years of age, whichever is later.

(2) As soon as possible after October 4, 1997, the board shall calculate and mail a check for the amount of any retroactive payment required under subsection (1) of this section. The retroactive payment shall represent the difference between the total of all monthly amounts paid to the member before the first recalculated monthly payment is made under subsection (1) of this section, and the total of all monthly amounts that would have been paid to the member if ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations), as amended by section 1, chapter 180, Oregon Laws 1997, had been in effect on and after October 3, 1989. In no event shall the increased service allowance under ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations) (7), or the increased life pension or pensions under ORS 238.305 (Optional service retirement allowance calculations) (8), be applicable to any monthly payment that was made before the first full month following October 3, 1989, and no retroactive payment shall be made under this section for any monthly payment that was made before the first full month following October 3, 1989. [1997 c.180 §3; 2001 c.945 §9]

(formerly 237.155)

Notes of Decisions

To deny retired member’s elec­tion to convert from one type of service retire­ment allowance to an­oth­er type of service retire­ment allowance on basis that elec­tion will result in loss of tax-qualified status, Public Employ­ment Retire­ment Board must determine in its findings that elec­tion will cause board to lose tax-qualified status. English v. Public Employees Retire­ment Board, 230 Or App 506, 216 P3d 342 (2009)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Acceptance of “lump sum refund” retire­ment allowance as forfeiture of all other retire­ment allowances, (1978) Vol 38, p 1944

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 238—Public Employees Retirement System, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors238.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 238, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano238.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.