“The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) Board of Trustees voted at its April 23 meeting for initial adoption of revisions to PERS Board Regulation 34, Reemployment after Retirement. These proposed changes are currently scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2020, and would allow PERS retirees to serve in the state Legislature while continuing to receive benefit payments under certain conditions. These revisions were adopted in response to the Attorney General’s opinions issued in November 2018 and January 2019.
The regulation will now be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with a request for issuance of a private letter ruling. This ruling will confirm whether the proposed regulation complies with IRS requirements for maintaining the plan’s qualified status, which is very important to the System and individual members for tax purposes. Likewise, the proposed regulation will move forward under the provisions of the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Act until final adoption.
We are hopeful we will receive the ruling from the IRS prior to the proposed effective date. Because we are optimistic that we will receive an affirmative response from the IRS, the regulation is currently anticipated—though not guaranteed—to still go into effect January 1, 2020. However, should we not receive a positive response, we very much expect that the proposed regulation would be promptly modified to comply with IRS requirements. PERS retirees running for the Legislature should proceed with this possibility in mind.
PERS retirees may certainly run for the Legislature. Approval from PERS is not required for this action. However, any possible change to the PERS benefit of a retiree will be determined after his or her potential election, based on his or her individual circumstances and the regulation in effect at the time of his or her service in the Legislature.
We trust this information is helpful as we continue to act prudently and in the best interest of the System. We will update this statement as new information is available. Should you have further questions, please contact us at 800-444-7377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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