2015 ORS 243.800¹
Optional retirement plan for certain academic and administrative public university employees

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of ORS chapter 238 or 238A or ORS 243.910 (Definitions for ORS 243.910 to 243.945) to 243.945 (Employees not eligible for assistance), the governing board of a public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) shall establish and administer an Optional Retirement Plan for administrative and academic employees of the public university. The Optional Retirement Plan must be a qualified plan under the Internal Revenue Code, capable of accepting funds transferred under subsection (7) of this section without the transfer being treated as a taxable event under the Internal Revenue Code, and willing to accept those funds. Retirement and death benefits shall be provided under the plan by the purchase of annuity contracts, fixed or variable or a combination thereof, or by contracts for investments in mutual funds.

(2) An administrative or academic employee may elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan upon completion of:

(a) Six hundred hours of employment, or the equivalent as determined by the governing board; and

(b) Six months of employment that is not interrupted by more than 30 consecutive working days.

(3) An administrative or academic employee may make an irrevocable election to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan within six months after being employed. An election under this subsection is effective on the first day of the month following the completion of the requirements of subsection (2) of this section.

(4) An administrative or academic employee who does not elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan:

(a) Remains or becomes a member of the Public Employees Retirement System in accordance with ORS chapters 238 and 238A; or

(b) Continues to be assisted by the governing board under ORS 243.920 (Assisting employees to obtain supplemental benefits) if the employee is being so assisted.

(5) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, employees who elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan are ineligible for active membership in the Public Employees Retirement System or for any assistance by the governing board under ORS 243.920 (Assisting employees to obtain supplemental benefits) as long as those employees are employed in the public university and the plan is in effect.

(6)(a) An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, who has creditable service under ORS chapter 238 as defined by ORS 238.005 (Definitions) and who is not vested shall be considered by the Public Employees Retirement Board to be a terminated member under the provisions of ORS 238.095 (Termination of membership) as of the effective date of the election, and the amount credited to the member account of the member shall be transferred directly to the Optional Retirement Plan by the Public Employees Retirement Board in the manner provided by subsection (7) of this section.

(b) An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, who has creditable service under ORS chapter 238 as defined by ORS 238.005 (Definitions) and who is vested shall be considered to be an inactive member by the Public Employees Retirement Board and shall retain all the rights, privileges and options under ORS chapter 238 unless the employee makes a written request to the Public Employees Retirement Board for a transfer of the amounts credited to the member account of the member to the Optional Retirement Plan. A request for a transfer must be made at the time the member elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan. Upon receiving the request, the Public Employees Retirement Board shall transfer all amounts credited to the member account of the member directly to the Optional Retirement Plan, and shall terminate all rights, privileges and options of the employee under ORS chapter 238.

(c) An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, and who is not a vested member of the pension program of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan as described in ORS 238A.115 (Vesting) on the date that the election becomes effective, shall be considered to be a terminated member of the pension program by the Public Employees Retirement Board as of the effective date of the election.

(d) An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, and who is a vested member of the pension program of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan as described in ORS 238A.115 (Vesting) on the date that the election becomes effective, shall be considered an inactive member of the pension program by the Public Employees Retirement Board as of the effective date of the election. An employee who is subject to the provisions of this paragraph retains all the rights, privileges and options of an inactive member of the pension program. If the actuarial equivalent of the employee’s benefit under the pension program at the time that the election becomes effective is $5,000 or less, the employee may make a written request to the Public Employees Retirement Board for a transfer of the employee’s interest under the pension program to the Optional Retirement Plan. The request must be made at the time the member elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan. Upon receiving the request, the Public Employees Retirement Board shall transfer the amount determined to be the actuarial equivalent of the employee’s benefit under the pension program directly to the Optional Retirement Plan, and shall terminate the membership of the employee in the pension program.

(e) An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, and who is a vested member of the individual account program of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan as described in ORS 238A.320 (Vesting) on the date that the election becomes effective, shall be considered an inactive member of the individual account program by the Public Employees Retirement Board as of the effective date of the election. An employee who is subject to the provisions of this paragraph retains all the rights, privileges and options of an inactive member of the individual account program. An administrative or academic employee who elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, and who is a member of the individual account program of the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan, may make a written request to the Public Employees Retirement Board that all amounts in the member’s employee account, rollover account and employer account, to the extent the member is vested in those accounts under ORS 238A.320 (Vesting), be transferred to the Optional Retirement Plan. The request must be made at the time the member elects to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan. Upon receiving the request, the Public Employees Retirement Board shall transfer the amounts directly to the Optional Retirement Plan, and shall terminate the membership of the employee in the individual account program upon making the transfer.

(f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b), (d) and (e) of this subsection, the Public Employees Retirement Board may not treat any employee as an inactive member under the provisions of this subsection for the purpose of receiving any benefit under ORS chapter 238 or 238A that requires that the employee be separated from all service with participating public employers and with employers who are treated as part of a participating public employer’s controlled group under the federal laws and rules governing the status of the Public Employees Retirement System and the Public Employees Retirement Fund as a qualified governmental retirement plan and trust.

(7) Any amounts transferred from the Public Employees Retirement Fund under subsection (6) of this section shall be transferred directly to the Optional Retirement Plan by the Public Employees Retirement Board and may not be made available to the employee.

(8) An employee participating in the Optional Retirement Plan who was hired before July 1, 2014, shall contribute monthly an amount equal to the percentage of the employee’s salary that the employee would otherwise have contributed as an employee contribution to the Public Employees Retirement System if the employee had not elected to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan.

(9) For an employee participating in the Optional Retirement Plan who was hired before July 1, 2014, the governing board shall contribute monthly to the Optional Retirement Plan the percentage of salary of the employee equal to the percentage of salary that would otherwise have been contributed as an employer contribution on behalf of the employee to the Public Employees Retirement System, before any offset under ORS 238.229 (Effect of lump sum payment on contributions of pooled employer) (2), if the employee had not elected to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan.

(10) For an employee participating in the Optional Retirement Plan who was hired on or after July 1, 2014, the governing board shall contribute monthly to the Optional Retirement Plan:

(a) Eight percent of the employee’s salary; and

(b) A percentage of the employee’s salary equal to the percentage of salary contributed by the employee to the public university’s Tax-Deferred Investment 403(b) Plan under ORS 243.820 (Agreement for payment of annuity premium or investment in stock of regulated investment company), up to four percent of the employee’s salary in each pay period.

(11) Both employee and employer contributions to an Optional Retirement Plan shall be remitted directly to the companies that have issued annuity contracts to the participating employees or directly to the mutual funds.

(12) Benefits under the Optional Retirement Plan are payable to employees who elect to participate in the plan and their beneficiaries by the selected annuity provider or mutual fund in accordance with the terms of the annuity contracts or the terms of the contract with the mutual fund. Employees electing to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan agree that benefits payable under the plan are not obligations of the State of Oregon or of the Public Employees Retirement System. [Formerly 243.775; 2001 c.945 §66; 2003 c.67 §34; 2003 c.733 §69; 2005 c.611 §1; 2007 c.71 §76; 2007 c.769 §5; 2013 c.174 §1; 2013 c.768 §114; 2015 c.767 §66]

Note: Section 2, chapter 174, Oregon Laws 2013, provides:

Sec. 2. The amendments to ORS 243.800 (Optional retirement plan for certain academic and administrative public university employees) by section 1 of this 2013 Act do not affect any collective bargaining agreement entered into before the effective date of this 2013 Act [May 16, 2013]. [2013 c.174 §2]

Note: 243.800 (Optional retirement plan for certain academic and administrative public university employees) was added to and made a part of ORS chapter 243 by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Chapter 243

Notes of Decisions

Effect of Public Employe Rela­tions Act is to modify authority of Personnel Division so that, while division retains responsibility for es­tab­lishing general job salary grades and classifica­tions, specific salary within each range which is paid to employe in public employe bargaining unit is subject to negotia­tion or arbitra­tion under terms of this chapter. AFSCME v. Executive Dept., 52 Or App 457, 628 P2d 1228 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Provision of collective bargaining agree­ment giving present employes lateral transfer rights was valid under ORS 240.321 (Collective bargaining) and fact that its imple­menta­tion resulted in male succeeding female employe did not violate state af­firm­a­tive ac­tion statutes. State Executive Dept. v. OPEU, 91 Or App 124, 754 P2d 582 (1988)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

State agencies paying carpooling employes' parking fees, (1974) Vol 36, p 1015

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 23, 44 (1971)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 243—Public Employee Rights and Benefits, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors243.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 243, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano243.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
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.