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Government and Politics

Oregon Court Throws Out Bulk Of Public Pension Overhaul Measures

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Cacophony
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Wikimedia
The Oregon Supreme court has overturned a key piece of reforms to the state's public pension system.

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

The plan was meant to save about $5 billion in costs for PERS -- Oregon's Public Employees Retirement System. Most of that savings came from trimming annual cost of living increases for retirees.

But In a unanimous decision the court said lawmakers couldn't do that. Thursday’s decision means government agencies in Oregon will have higher pension costs in years to come.

“You can't go back and say 'Oops, I think we're paying you too much,’” retiree Brooks Koenig said. He’s happy with the decision. Koenig retired in 2003 after 26 years in state and local government.

The court ruled that cost of living increases can be cut for people who haven't yet retired. Legislative leaders said they have no immediate plans to take another run at cutting public pension costs.