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Retirement Study Commission Could Change Retirement

The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi Study Commission created by former Governor Haley Barbour, released its report with recommendations in mid-December.  Response to these recommendations is the job of the Legislature and is the intended audience for the Commission’s report.  The full report of recommendations is available online at : http://www.governorbarbour.com/features/PERS/FINAL%20PERS%20report.pdf

The document, almost 40 pages in length, analyzes the PERS system and gives details about its management, financial and funding structures.  However, attention should be given to the recommendation of the Study Commission that states, “The Study Commission recommended freezing the current cost-of-living for three years and thereafter tying the COLA to the Consumer Price Index with a cap of three percent.”

According to PERS Executive Director Pat Robertson in the 2012 PERS Winter Newsletter, “Our (PERS) funded status is not ideal; but despite reports to the contrary, PERS is financially sound…What is needed most right now is patience, as well as time, to recover from the actuarial losses that have been experienced over the past decade.”

The recommendations of the Commission do not become law unless passes by the Legislature.  Few bills at the present time are being considered.  PERS posts the bills that could effect our retirement on their website:  http://www.pers.state.ms.us under caption: 2012 PERS Legislative Watch.  However, it is imperative that all PERS participants, the GSD employees, pay close attention to the upcoming bills that could substantially change our retirement.

photo of Dr. David Daigneault