Welcome to PERS
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.
Dr. Milton G. Walker, who served as PERS executive director from 1990 to 1995, passed away Saturday, January 9, 2021. During Walker's time as executive director, the Optional Retirement Plan was established for teaching and administrative faculty of the state's public universities at the request of the Mississippi Institutions for Higher Learning. Also, retirees were offered in 1994 the option to choose monthly installments rather than annual lump sum payments of the Cost-of-Living Adjustment, an option that is still available today. And the agency began collecting and storing member addresses from employers electronically which allowed PERS in 1990 to be able to begin mailing annual member statements directly to members rather than to employers. Click here to read Walker's full obituary.
A Message to Our Members, Retirees, and Employers
The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) thanks each of you for your patience as we are navigating through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While your retirement system has continued to operate during this time, we have kept the doors of our building closed to guests for their safety and for the safety of our staff so that we could maintain a workforce dedicated to our critical operations. However, we will be opening our doors back up to guests today, June 1, with the understanding that we will be mindful of the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) regulations and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For PERS, this means that staff will be following various guidelines and safety measures and that guests will be required to consider certain guidelines and safety measures, as well.
Guidelines for PERS Guests beginning June 1, 2020:
- Guests should continue to make every effort to conduct PERS business by telephone or online. Our Call Center has remained open and available throughout the pandemic. Before coming to the building, please call to see if your needs can be handled telephonically or by videoconference. Our numbers are 800-444-7377 and 601-359-3589. And remember that our website provides a number of helpful resources.
- Visits to PERS will be by appointment only. Guests needing to discuss their accounts should call PERS to arrange a scheduled time to speak with a retirement counselor. If a teleconference or videoconference appointment is not feasible, guests will be scheduled for an appointment in person at PERS. Individuals who need to come to the PERS building should note that only a limited number of guests will be allowed at any given time to help maintain proper social distancing as prescribed by the MSDH and the CDC.
- Guest visits are for individuals only. While we prefer that members not be accompanied by other individuals, we understand that some individuals may require one additional person for physical assistance. In these cases, the additional person will be encouraged to return to his or her vehicle during the member’s appointment.
- All guests will be asked to wear masks while visiting PERS, and touchless temperature taking will be conducted on every guest by agency personnel upon arrival.
- Any guest who is sick with any illness, has a fever, or who is displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, is asked to stay home and will not be allowed in the PERS building. Any guest who has been sick is required to have been fever- and symptom-free for 14 days prior to entering the building.
- Finally, by entering the PERS building, each guest confirms that:
- He or she has not had one or more of the following in the last 14 days:
- A fever;
- A cough that cannot be attributed to another health condition;
- Shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition;
- A sore throat that cannot be attributed to another heath condition;
- Nasal congestion or runny nose that cannot be attributed to another health condition;
- Body aches;
- Loss of taste and/or smell;
- Sweats; or
- He or she does not care for or live with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms (fever and symptoms listed above) or who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- He or she has not been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days.
Also resuming June 1 will be PERS Focus Sessions and group seminars as requested by employers, though the format for these opportunities will be presented virtually rather than in person. Please watch the Retirement Education page of our website for the availability of these events.
We thank each of you for your careful consideration of these guidelines as the state and PERS begin their safe return to additional services. Please continue to take care of yourselves and stay well! Thank you.
Ray Higgins, PERS Executive Director