AG Calls on Public Retirees to Attend PERS Board Meeting Tuesday

February 8, 2019

***UPDATE***

In addition to the Board meeting at 11:30, the PERS Administrative Committee will meet at 10am in the same building to discuss the issue below of state retirees continuing to receive their pension while serving in the Mississippi Legislature. From this meeting, the committee will give a report to the board at 11:30. The 10:00 committee meeting is open to the public, and it is important that state retirees attend this meeting as well as the 11:30 board meeting. The board meeting will have a public comment period.

 

Attorney General Jim Hood is encouraging state retirees to attend a meeting Tuesday with the Board of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) regarding their ability to run for a state legislative seat without forfeiting retirement benefits.

General Hood issued an opinion on November 29 (linked here) confirming that retired state employees should keep their pension while serving in the Mississippi Legislature. PERS already allows retirees to serve in a local elective office but not in the Legislature.

“The PERS Retiree members have vested rights to their benefits, are entitled to receive their benefits and, if qualified and elected, they have a right to serve as a representative or senator in the Mississippi Legislature without forfeiture of their PERS retirement benefits,” the opinion says. General Hood issued another opinion in January answering related questions (linked here).

On Tuesday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m., the PERS Board will discuss whether to adopt regulations implementing the Attorney General’s opinion in time for the March 1, 2019 deadline to qualify as a candidate for the Legislature.  The meeting will be at the PERS office at 429 Mississippi Street in Jackson. General Hood strongly encourages any current government employees or retirees with any interest in potentially running for the Legislature now or in the future to attend this important meeting and voice their support. For those who cannot attend Tuesday’s meeting, call PERS at 800-444-7377 or 601-359-3589 or email customerservice@pers.ms.gov.

“Every citizen of this state deserves an equal opportunity to stand for elected office. We should work together to remove this financial barrier which keeps retired teachers, law enforcement, social workers, health care workers and other hard working retirees from fully participating in our state government,” General Hood said. “For too many years, the state has denied public retirees their hard-earned retirement money if they choose to continue serving their state as a legislator. Mississippi desperately needs and deserves its best citizens, including retirees, serving as legislators. I encourage anyone who works for the state who has ever had the smallest interest in one day serving as a legislator or in a statewide elected position to attend Tuesday’s meeting, as the decisions of PERS will directly impact your future ability to be a public servant while still receiving your retirement.”

Tuesday’s PERS meeting is a special-called board meeting. The meeting agenda can be found here.

WHO: State of Mississippi employees and retirees

WHAT: Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: 429 Mississippi Street, Jackson, MS

If unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, call PERS at 800-444-7377 or 601-359-3589 or email customerservice@pers.ms.gov​.

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