The PERS board has voted to rescind its policy change that would have allowed state retirees to draw their PERS retirement while serving in the Mississippi Legislature. The board took this action after the IRS declined to issue a private letter ruling in support of the policy change, a ruling the board considers necessary to proceed with the amendment to the PERS regulation. The PERS staff believes that a change in state statute is needed to obtain a positive ruling from the IRS.
Before the policy change can be rescinded officially, the board must accept public comments on the issue.
Please submit comments urging the PERS Board to vigorously pursue an amendment to state statute that would permit PERS retirees to draw their pensions while serving in the State Legislature.
Send comments via postal mail to arrive by Tuesday, August 4 to:
Ms. Davetta Lee
Public Employees’ Retirement System
429 Mississippi Street
Jackson, MS 39201
It is notable that:
- the Legislature has made an allowance in state law for local elected officials to serve and draw their retirement, but not potential challengers to their own legislative seats
- prohibiting state employees from drawing their PERS retirement while serving in the Legislature discriminates against state employees and educators
- legislators claim that such an allowance would be “double dipping” and would cost the state money – this is false; retirees would receive only half of the legislative salary, which would save the state money
Legislators should not get away with prohibiting hundreds of thousands of our state’s most qualified people from running against them. Please send your comments to the PERS Board today, and ask your social media friends to do likewise. Together, we’ve got this!