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I applaud Yvonne Mccallister (Aug. 30 letter) for wanting the whole PERS story told. She is correct that I did not mention in my Aug. 26 letter that some excess distributions from 1999 were paid back by PERS members.

However, Yvonne incorrectly claims that all excess distributions from the 1990s were paid back. In fact, not all excess distributions from 1999 were paid back. Moreover, excess distributions in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 were also not paid back. And that does not include excess distributions in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989. Indeed, I wonder where PERS would currently stand — even with the infamous money match formula — if the PERS board stuck to the assumed rate of return during those years. I wonder why those excess distributions are legally considered part of public employees' original employment contracts, but as a taxpaying Gen X Oregonian, I accept the Oregon Supreme Court's ruling and disapprove of the ugly, resentful things that are being said about our judges and public employees because of this problem. Oregon is still great.

If you want to learn more, I encourage you to read Brent Walth's 2002 article in the Oregonian, "PERS Crisis 2002: How the PERS Crisis Occurred." I also found the Portland City Club's 2011 report, "Oregon PERS: Burdened by the Past, Poised for the Future," and Ted Sickinger's 2017 Oregonian article, "PERS: 9 Myths About Oregon's Public Pension Fund," to be useful.

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Jeffrey Barden

Corvallis (Sept. 5)

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