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Riemer v. PERB

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-25-2013
Case #: A152820
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A152820.pdf

Administrative Law: Before qualifying for PERS retirement, an individual must first be considered an "employee".

Riemer appealed the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Board's (Board) decision to recalculate Riemer's retirement benefits. Riemer worked for the Oregon State Bar from January 1981 until 2006. A Bar employee is not considered to be an “employee” for the purposes of PERS, but may elect to become one. Riemer exercised that option in July 1982. When Riemer retired, he purchased 6 months of waiting time credit. PERS sent an invoice to the Bar for the amount of employer contributions between August 1981 and June 1982 to account for the 6 months of waiting time credit. The Bar challenged that judgment, and the Board concluded that Riemer’s membership had begun in August 1982, the first full month after Riemer elected to become an employee. The Board then recalculated Riemer's benefit amount and ordered Riemer to reimburse PERS for overpaid benefits. Riemer appealed. The Court agreed with the Board. In order to qualify for PERS retirement a person must be considered an employee under the PERS statute. Neither ORS 9.080(4) or ORS 238.015(1) were intended for employee membership to be applied retroactively. Riemer became an “employee” in August 1982, therefore, he was not eligible for PERS until that date. As such, Riemer was also ineligible to purchase waiting time credit because ORS 238.125 only allows an employee to purchase waiting time credit for the time that a person is considered an “employee” for the purposes of PERS.  Affirmed.