Lawmakers should plan for future with new retirement program

While some lawmakers are still clamoring for changes in the Public Employee Retirement System — such as moving away from a defined benefit plan — don’t expect the Legislature to adopt any sweeping reforms.

A report released Monday by the Joint Commission on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review further reiterated that if lawmakers changed benefits for retirees or current enrollees without offering new benefits to offset losses, they run a high risk of the state being sued.

In late October, PERS released their annual report showing the funding level for the state’s retirement fund had dropped to 58 percent. In other words, if everyone owed money retired today, PERS would be able to pay only 58 percent of the claims. Granted, that’s not going to happen, but 58 percent is low.

Clarion Ledger
1/8/13