PERS focus of speaker’s race

STARKVILLE — Make no mistake, the fear being generated over the future of Mississippi’s Public Employees Retirement System has a political genesis. But the suggestion that PERS doesn’t need a substantial examination in order to stabilize the program for both present and future retirees is one not borne out by the facts.

Founded in 1952, PERS originally provided full retirement benefits to state workers when they had reached full Social Security retirement age. PERS is a system of retirement plans covering all public employees including public school teachers, the state Highway Safety Patrol, municipal employees and state legislators.

Sid Salter