Mississippi auditor: Corruption shouldn’t result in a state pension

State Auditor Stacey Pickering says he wants the Legislature takes on the issue when the session begins in January. He said he’s already talked to members of the state House and Senate about getting a bill passed.

“Prison time has nothing to do with it (collecting pensions) under current law,” Pickering told Mississippi Watchdog in a phone interview. “If they’ve got their retirement in and they filed for it, they can start drawing it.”

For some of them, that represents a giant golden parachute. Pickering said some of those pensions from the troubled Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System can add up to more than $90,000 per year for life for these formerly high-ranking officials. The employee’s contribution was set for 9 percent of their salary for those hired before 2013 and 15 percent for those hired after that.

{Pickering wants to prohibit an official who is convicted of public corruption from collecting the state’s contribution to their retirement.

“As far as the state portion is concerned, I think that should be withheld as a part of the penalty for betraying the public trust,” Pickering said.

MS Watchdog
11/24/14