2017 ORS 341.551¹
Optional retirement plan for administrative employees

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of ORS chapter 238 or 238A, the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development may establish and administer an optional retirement plan for administrative employees of community college districts who are eligible for membership in the Public Employees Retirement System. Any community college district may participate in the plan by giving written notice to the office.

(2) An administrative employee may make an election to participate in the optional retirement plan if the community college district that employs the employee is participating in the plan. The election must be made in the following manner:

(a) An administrative employee who is an active member of the Public Employees Retirement System may make an election to participate in the plan within 180 days after the community college district commences participation in the plan, effective on the first day of the month following the election.

(b) An administrative employee who is hired after the community college district commences participation in the plan may make an election to participate in the plan within the first six months of employment, effective on the first day of the month following six full months of employment.

(3) An administrative employee who does not elect to participate in the optional retirement plan remains or becomes a member of the Public Employees Retirement System in accordance with ORS chapters 238 and 238A.

(4) An administrative employee may elect to participate in the optional retirement plan only if at the time the election becomes effective the employee is not concurrently employed in a position with any participating public employer other than the community college district in a position that entitles the employee to membership in the Public Employees Retirement System. Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, employees who elect to participate in the optional retirement plan are ineligible for active membership in the Public Employees Retirement System for as long as those employees are employed by a community college district that participates in the plan, whether by reason of employment by the district or any other participating public employer.

(5)(a) An administrative 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 (6) of this section.

(b) An administrative 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 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 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 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 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.

(f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b), (d) and (e) of this subsection, the Public Employees Retirement Board shall 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.

(6) Any amounts transferred from the Public Employees Retirement Fund under subsection (5) of this section shall be transferred directly to the optional retirement plan by the Public Employees Retirement Board and shall not be made available to the employee.

(7) An employee participating in the optional retirement plan 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.

(8) A participating community college district shall contribute monthly to the optional retirement plan the percentage of salary for each employee participating in the plan that is equal to the percentage of salary that is required to be made as the employer contribution under ORS 238A.220 (Employer contributions), less any contributions made by reason of unfunded liabilities. The district may make contributions under this subsection only during periods of time in which the employee would be eligible for membership in the Public Employees Retirement System if the employee had not elected to participate in the optional retirement plan.

(9) An administrative employee who elects to participate in the optional retirement plan may make an election to withdraw from the plan. An employee may make an election under this subsection only once. Upon withdrawing from the plan:

(a) All contributions made to the plan before the effective date of the withdrawal remain credited to the employee;

(b) The employee becomes a member of the Public Employees Retirement System under ORS chapter 238A if the member meets all requirements for membership under ORS chapter 238A; and

(c) The employee is barred from ever again electing to participate in the optional retirement plan.

(10) For the purposes of this section, “administrative employee” means a president, vice president or dean, or a person holding a position that is the equivalent of a president, vice president or dean. [2005 c.728 §2; 2015 c.366 §23]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 341—Community Colleges, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors341.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
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.