Welcome to PERS


The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) p​roudly 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.


A Message from PERS Executive Director Ray Higgins Regarding Attorney General's Opinions - Updated December 6, 2019

“In November 2018 and January 2019, Mississippi’s Attorney General issued opinions regarding PERS retirees serving in the Mississippi Legislature and continuing to receive benefits. In response to these opinions, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) Board of Trustees approved initial adoption in April 2019 of revisions to PERS Board Regulation 34, Reemployment after Retirement, to allow PERS retirees to serve in the state Legislature while continuing to receive benefit payments under certain conditions.

To confirm whether the revised regulation complies with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements for maintaining the System’s qualified tax status, the proposed regulation was submitted (prior to final adoption) to the IRS this summer with a request for issuance of a private letter ruling. Maintaining the plan’s qualified status pertains to federal tax law and is very important to both the System and individual members. Our hope was to receive an affirmative ruling from the IRS prior to the proposed January 1, 2020, effective date of the regulation revisions. PERS made a strong, good faith effort to make this possible; but, we have yet to receive any ruling from the IRS. We have, however, been in regular correspondence with the IRS to address questions regarding the revisions’ compliance with federal law. This line of correspondence gives us reason to believe the IRS may not answer in support of the proposed regulation.

Should we not receive IRS affirmation, we will likely have no choice but to withdraw our proposed regulation, which will mean that the current and historical regulation will remain in effect. Any possible change to the benefit of a PERS retiree will be determined based on his or her individual circumstances and the regulation in effect at the time of his or her service in the Legislature.

We recognize and understand the timing of this ruling and modifications to the revisions could, potentially, pose a challenge to retirees who have been elected to serve in the Legislature. Therefore, with January fast approaching, we are providing this update so that these individuals have time to consider their options under different potential scenarios and discuss further with our staff, if needed.

We will update this statement once we have received this critical ruling. We also will continue to act prudently and in the best interest of the System. Should you have further questions, you may contact us at 800-444-7377 or customerservice@pers.ms.gov.

For a copy of the revised regulation, click here. Please be advised this version of the regulation is based on the initial adoption and could be subject to change as indicated above or during final adoption.”

-Ray Higgins, PERS executive director


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