PERS: Legislators made mistakes

The Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System serves a membership of 373,000 current and former stateemployees in 25 retirement plans or programs.

There are currently more than 80,000 retirees dependent on the system, which has a monthly payroll of over $100 million. The number of retirees has more than doubled over the last decade, a number which is projected to grow as large as 125,000 in another decade.

To be sure, the troubled economy and volatile investment markets of the last two years have clearly had an impact on the long-term security of PERS, but the system remains fiscally sound for now.

Yet it’s past time for the PERS Board, the Legislature and state taxpayers to take a hard look at the future stability of the state’s obligation to state retirees.

Clarion-Ledger
2/29/10