JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The executive director of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) provided an update on the system at the Stennis Capitol Press Forum.
PERS covers about 144,000 active members, including police officers, firefighters, and public school teachers.
Concerns have been raised regarding the long-term financial stability of the pension fund. PERS Executive Director Ray Higgins said the PERS Board will reach out to the Mississippi Legislature for funding during the next session.
“When it comes to PERS long-term, something is going to have to cost more or something is going to have to change or a little bit of both. Now, to be abundantly clear, I don’t think we have an emergency right now. I don’t think we need drastic emergency measures tomorrow morning. I’ve enjoyed working with the legislature. We stand ready to work in partnership with them, us as fiduciaries, them as the sponsors and policy makers. As I understand it, they’ve been support for PERS and to PERS over time. On the funding standpoint, in my time here, they provided the funding any time the rate is increase, and I understand historically that they have. So, optimistic that the legislature will continue to support PERS, but we’ll just have to get to this session,” said Higgins.