Gov. Barbour: Retirement system study to take longer

JACKSON, Miss. — A group studying the Public Employees’ Retirement System won’t have its report ready Tuesday as planned.

Gov. Haley Barbour, who appointed the group, says he’s been told the report will be released later in November.

Robertson said the system is sustainable, but if the contribution levels recommended by actuaries are not maintained, it could affect the state’s credit rating.

Barbour formed the commission after expressing concern with the amount of taxpayer money that goes into the system, which provides retirement benefits for state employees, school teachers, higher education and community college faculty and local government employees.

As of June 30, the system was funded at about 65 percent of its anticipated costs over a 30-year period. The benchmark is 80 percent, according to Pat Robertson, PERS executive director.