Local Politicians respond to PERS Commission report

Published: Dec. 15, 2011 at 10:33 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A 40-page report could determine the future of Mississippi's Public Retirement System.  The commission appointed by Governor Haley Barbour in August to review the PERS system released their report Wednesday recommending concerning suggestions such as freezing the three percent increase retirees currently receive every year for three years.  Any new retirees would also be subject to the three year hold out.  According to State Senator Chris McDaniel the 13th check is meant to be protected...not frozen.

Sen. McDaniel says, "I think you'll see some very small tweaks along the corners of the plan, but I don't see the 13th check being effected just yet. The reality is that 13th check is very important to many Mississippians.  It's not something that should be taken from them, or for that matter frozen at this time. We need to protect them, and protect the promises we've made to the people of this state."

Barbour explained Wednesday with the release of the new report that PERS is drastically under funded by twelve billion dollars.  State Representative Larry Byrd says for those already in the system there's no cause for alarm.

Rep. Byrd said, "if the economy doesn't begin to rebound we're going to continue to have concerns about funding PERS. Over the last ten years it's grown at 5.4 on the cent. There's a recommendation we reduce our expectation of growth from 8 percent to 7.5 percent."