The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) proudly serves the state of Mississippi by providing retirement benefits for individuals working in state government, public schools, universities, community colleges, municipalities, counties, the Legislature, highway patrol, and other such public entities. These retirement benefits not only help recruit and retain a strong public workforce in Mississippi, they help stimulate local economies in every county in the state and help reduce the need for social assistance.
The PERS Board of Trustees voted Tuesday, August 22, 2023, to phase in a previously approved employer contribution rate increase by 2 percent each state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024, and thereafter until the rate reaches the amount recommended by the actuary and approved by the Board. This means the current rate of 17.40 percent of payroll will only increase to 19.40 percent for the next state fiscal year.
Also, following the recommendation of the actuary and others, the Board voted to lower the assumed rate of return from 7.55 percent to 7 percent, effective with the valuation ending June 30, 2023. Based on recent actuarial projections and using 7 percent as the assumed rate of return, the ultimate employer contribution rate after full implementation is currently estimated to be 27.40 percent. This potential future employer contribution rate will be updated in subsequent actuarial reports (typically presented each December) beginning with the next one for the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.
As fiduciaries, we must act in the best interest of the membership and System. We appreciate the support of all PERS stakeholders and look forward to working with them in the future for the betterment of PERS.
The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) appreciates the patience of our retiree applicants as we work through the increased volume of applications common with our peak season.
All applicants can rest assured that their retirement date will be established based on the proper submission of their Form 9A SRVC, Pre-Application for Service Retirement Benefits, and that they will receive their entire retirement benefit (assuming they terminate employment as reflected on the form), even if their 9A is not processed by their requested retirement date. Should that be the case, all benefits due will be issued with the first available payroll after their retirement application is completely processed.
Retiring takes time and preparation for both the retiree applicant and for PERS. We are dedicated to not only processing each application in as timely a manner as possible but also working to make sure that the process is done correctly. Unfortunately, this process takes longer than usual during this season—when we experience an influx of applications driven largely by members’ desire to retire prior to the conclusion of the fiscal year (June 30). Further adding to this year’s peak season, retirement applications are up by nearly 40 percent so far compared to last year.
We are working diligently to process the increased volume of retirement applications as soon as possible, and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We will be reviewing, modifying, and improving our procedures and communications for the future to better prepare for surges in applications, but processing these pending retirements is our current priority.
Should any retiree applicants have questions, please contact us at 800-444-7377, 601-359-3589, or at email@example.com. Thank you, again, for your understanding and patience.
PERS has been made aware of a false press release being circulated regarding “suspension of retirements through December 2023.” This information is completely unfounded and untrue. PERS posts all official press releases on the agency’s official website here. Be sure to reference this site to verify any questionable information you may encounter.