WILSON: Mississippi’s pension system one of nation’s worst


BY: Steve Wilson | Watchdog.org A new report by nonprofit State Budget Solutions says Mississippi’s Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi is carrying $56 billion in unfunded liabilities, worst in the nation — now at 53 percent of the gross state product in 2013. It covers only 27 percent of the state’s liabilities, which is … Continue reading WILSON: Mississippi’s pension system one of nation’s worst

Rep. Rita Martinson won’t seek re-election in 2015, Joel Bomgar expected to make a run for seat.


(Rep. Rita) Martinson on Wednesday confirmed rumors circulating for months that she won't seek re-election after her present term ends in 2015. As the rumors have flown, tech executive Joel Bomgar has said he would consider running if Martinson does not. Martinson entered the Legislature when Kirk Fordice was governor and there were few solid … Continue reading Rep. Rita Martinson won’t seek re-election in 2015, Joel Bomgar expected to make a run for seat.

Crawford: PERS riskier investment strategy an “all-in” gamble.


Given PERS’ challenges, it’s not too surprising that the Legislature and governor authorized new investment opportunities. What is surprising is their willingness to eliminate risk safeguards from the statute. With the exception of short-term corporate obligations, the only investment risk safeguard remaining in the statute is language telling PERS to act as “a prudent investor.” … Continue reading Crawford: PERS riskier investment strategy an “all-in” gamble.

Crawford: Rep. Holland’s position on PERS “borders on foolish.”


Holland’s piece on PERS dealt with the proposal of the PERS Study Commission and Sen. Nancy Collins to add independent members with financial know-how to the PERS Board. As it stands, PERS Board members are people who get, or will get, money from PERS, an apparent conflict of interest. Holland says this is as it … Continue reading Crawford: Rep. Holland’s position on PERS “borders on foolish.”

State Retirement receives most of increased spending in FY ’14 budget proposals.


Mississippi lawmakers are pushing forward with early proposals for the budget year that begins July 1, and many agencies are likely to receive less money than they’re requesting. The $5.5 billion spending plan will be about 1 percent bigger than it is now, with most of the increase going toward state employees’ retirement. Education could … Continue reading State Retirement receives most of increased spending in FY ’14 budget proposals.

Plunkett: Serious discussion of state retirement must begin with Legislative Retirement Plan.


BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett According to our Mississippi PEP 2013 Conservative State of the State survey of over 200 conservative Mississippians, there is great concern for how state officials will face down the growing problem of funding state retirement. The Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Board again raised the contribution levels on taxpayers last … Continue reading Plunkett: Serious discussion of state retirement must begin with Legislative Retirement Plan.

Plunkett: Education Reform is about allowing morality to rule.


BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett "If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values-that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."--Martin Luther King In the discussion about charter schools and education reform we see two sides going at each other from behind a … Continue reading Plunkett: Education Reform is about allowing morality to rule.

PEER Committee recommends legislative action to make changes to PERS


The Legislatures Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review has released a report detailing suggested legislative action regarding the Public Employee Retirement System. The recommendations are as follows: 1. While PEER acknowledges the seriousness of the funding concerns facing PERS, the Committee believes PERS’s current financial condition is sufficiently sound to make any modification … Continue reading PEER Committee recommends legislative action to make changes to PERS

PERS Board approves increase in taxpayer contributions to fund shortfall.


The governing board of the state retirement system has increased — as expected — the amount employers contribute to the program. Pat Robertson, executive director of the Public Employees Retirement System, had told lawmakers in September that the increase was coming and would affect state agencies, the public schools and cities and counties. The board … Continue reading PERS Board approves increase in taxpayer contributions to fund shortfall.

Senate Finance Committee informed that taxpayer contributions to PERS going up in July


The cost to taxpayers for the Mississippi Public Retirement System will increase next July, the Senate Finance Committee was told Friday morning. Pat Robertson, executive director of PERS, told legislative leaders in September that the board of directors that oversees the pension plan for state and local government employees would most likely vote to increase … Continue reading Senate Finance Committee informed that taxpayer contributions to PERS going up in July