Friday, December 13, 2013

Still SLRPing

We dissected PERS a few weeks ago. Now it's time to look at SLRP.* You might remember SLRP- the Supplemental Legislative Retirement Program. Time and a half retirement pay for part-time employees, oops, I meant legislators.  It's true the part-time JPS bus drivers want a fat pay raise, but at least they work for their pay, unlike these pigs, oops again, I meant public servants, who feed at the public trough.  Cops, teachers, firemen, nurses, even lowly staff attorneys, all state employees, don't get this perk. 150% retirement pay.  Keep in mind legislators receive retirement benefits from SLRP and PERS.   Sweet deal if you can get it.


PERS released the 2013 actuarial report for SLRP in October. Here are the numbers.

Current Assets: $13.5 million
Unfunded liability: $6 million.
Funding level: 67.8%

Active members: 175
Average salary: $38,259
Retirees: 188
Active/Retired ratio: 0.9 (It was 1.7 in 2004)
Average monthly benefit for 26-29 years of service: $730
Average monthly benefit for 21-24 years of service: $550
Average monthly benefit for 16-20 years of service: $462
Average monthly benefit for 10-15 years of service: $182
Average age: 69.9
Average benefit: $5,965 per year

Benefits paid in 2013: $1.21 million

There is no two ways about it: SLRP needs to go. There is no reason whatsoever for legislators to get 150% retirement pay. It is true abolishing SLRP will mean nothing to PERS. $13 million compared to a $21 billion portfolio is not even a drop in the bucket although it might be a molecule of air.  However, its time to terminate SLRP and put these guys on PERS with everyone else.  What a novel concept: Legislators following the same rules as everyone else. 

*SLRP is a special retirement program created in 1989 just for legislators giving them extra retirement pay in addition to the regular retirement they receive as members of PERS. Section 25-11-301 of the Mississippi Code states:

"There is hereby established and placed under the management of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi a supplemental legislative retirement plan for the purpose of providing supplemental retirement allowances and other benefits under the provisions of this article for elected members of the State Legislature and the President of the Senate and their beneficiaries. The retirement plan provided by this article shall go into operation on July 1, 1989, when contributions by members shall begin and benefits shall become payable. This retirement plan is designed to supplement and is in addition to the provisions of Section 25-11-1 et seq. Under the terms of this article, the members of the State Legislature and the President of the Senate shall retain all social security benefits under Article 1 and additional state retirement and disability benefits under Article 3 of the Public Employees' Retirement Law of 1952, as amended. This article is a supplement to those sections, and is designed to provide more benefits for members of the State Legislature and the President of the Senate by reason of their service to the state." Section 25-11-301

Section 305 states SLRP shall include all members of the Legislature unless they choose to opt out of the program. Section 309 states "(1) The retirement allowance from the Supplemental Legislative Retirement Plan shall consist of fifty percent (50%) of an amount equal to the retirement allowance determined by creditable service"."

Previous posts on SLRP:
SLRP: Supplemental Legislative Retirement Plan or pigs SLRPing at a trough? (2010)
SLRP has over $13 million (2011 report)
When do we stop the legislature from double-dipping? (2010)
WLBT covers SLRP (2012)
Legislators still SLRPing at the trough (2012)


33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every time Kingfish has run these PERS articles I've brought up the SLRP debacle and I've entered the PERS discussion as well. And every time I've brought up SLRP, he and others have lambasted me by 'reminding' me that SLRP is a molehill that has no effect on the mountain.

Kingfish said...

This article IS about SLRP, Shadowfax.

You really do have reading comprehension problems, don't you.

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget but SLRP was created when Donkeycrats ruled Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

And they can't even opt out of SLRP if they wanted to.

Anonymous said...

It is a temporal crown for a little tribal chieftain. They obviously think they deserve the benefit, but morally it taints their judgement in PERS and other similar matters.

Anonymous said...

Something I'd like to know more about is why, when judges were recused in a district, used to be the case could be assigned to the judge down the road .. and now we have to have senior-status judges instead. Who are in short supply, and who cost the state extra $$.

Seems like a little retirement bonus being steered their way!

Pugnacious said...

Still, Chicken Little is right and Shallowfaux is wrong:The sky is falling!

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the Tea Baggers in the Mississippi legislature jumping on this? Chris McDaniel should be jumping on this pork barrel for himself and all of the other legislators. This is absolute pork barreling.

bill said...

I know a few legislators, and every single one of them has sacrificed in his or her private life in order to do a job that only 174 out of 3 million people in Mississippi do. The pay is lousy and the hours are long while they're in session, so I don't have a problem if they get an extra bump in their retirement. Like Kingfish said, it's a drop in the bucket.

Anonymous said...


Since you support special treatment Bill for members of the ruling class I'll assume you also have no problems with the illegal special Obamacare carve outs for members of Congress and their staffs.

Your attitude Bill of special government provided privileges by special people for special people is exactly what armed insurrections and revolutions are made of.

Cheers.

Pugnacious said...



@ Bill...

Comrades!' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.” ...George Orwell's Animal Farm

Anonymous said...

For Kingfish and his alter ego Pug-Gnat: Your earlier insistence that SLRP is a meaningless drop in an oversized bucket of vile slop is in conflict with your current position here.

An article cannot 'be about SLRP' without 'being about PERS' since they are fingers on the same glove. Without PERS there could be no SLRP.

It's like going through a buffet line and everybody gets the same plate, but two of them decide they are entitled to two slices of Red Velvet Cake, Kingfish and Pug-Gnat. They claim the desert has nothing to do with the meal, yet the former would not exist without the latter. They decree themselves somehow eligible for two deserts and claim their double reward will have no bearing on the overall cost of the meal.

SLRP was another of Charlie Capps' boondoogles that passed when all of them claim they had not read it. The same crowd that a few years earlier had decreed themselves full retirement after FOUR years of 'service'.

But, pretending SLRP is not a derivative of and has no effect on PERS is nonsense.

Reading comprehension my ass.

Two For One said...

Get a doctor to help you surgically excise SLRP from PERS. One cancer is inextricably wound around and part of the other.

https://www.pers.state.ms.us/MemberServices/calculators/slrpestimatediscclam.html

Anonymous said...

I'm a state employee, and I, too, sacrifice in my private life to work long hours for crappy pay. However, I get no SLRP. I also get no per diem, free food and drink at daily "receptions", legislative pay while continuing to receive my "regular" pay.

And yes, I choose to be a state employee, because what my agency does actually does matter.

Anonymous said...

Here, Here! 5:47. There are three of 'you' in my family. All making a difference despite insults and chants for their demise from certain folks.

bill said...

According to Kingfish's research, which I trust to be accurate, 188 people are receiving an average of about $500 a month in additional retirement benefits. That's my drop in the bucket, and if you don't see it as such then that probably means your argument against it is more emotional than it is practical.

6:38, I don't foresee an armed insurrection over SLRP. I'm not talking about the generic granting of special deals to the ruling class - just SLRP, which is the subject of the post. I don't agree with the carve outs at the federal level for the ACA because those are full time employees receiving a nice annual salary. State legislators are part time and don't make much money. Yes, they eat at Tico's and go to receptions and all that, but the ones I know also miss a lot of family time because of their duties. Their regular jobs, whether a law practice or an insurance agency or a nursing position or anything else, are put on hold during the time they're in session, and that almost always results in a reduction of income. Not everyone is a partner in a law firm whose prior success has provided him with the necessary resources to take off six months a year, and I'm not going to begrudge them a little extra retirement late in life.

Pug, I think you're being a little dramatic. Do you really believe we've gotten that bad? Do you personally know any state legislators who fit this description? Again, too much emotion for such a mundane subject.

While I probably won't spend any time crying over the demise of SLRP, should that happen, it certainly doesn't raise my ire like it does so many others. We have much bigger fish to fry. Get rid of it or keep it - I doubt anyone in the legislature will resign or use that as a decision to not run for reelection - but this subject doesn't deserve all the attention it's getting.

bill said...

5:47, I appreciate your service on my behalf, whatever it may be, but you aren't a part time employee with another job that needs your attention. You also admit that this is your choice, so you can choose to do something else if you want, like run for the legislature. You certainly have the right to complain about our government, but your situation is considerably different than that of a state legislator.

Anonymous said...

Not that Bill is trying to win this battle, but you can't and won't, ever!! Someone mentioned above that you can't opt out, I simply do not believe that. And while we're talking about pure, where is mr. pure, chris mcdaniels outrage over this? Isn't this a hit on liberty Chris?? Did this happen four score and seven years ago mr. speech man?? Give me a break!! The only reason this guy is running for the senate is to see HIS name on buildings, not Thad's.

Anonymous said...

Bill talks out of both sides of his mouth.

How about public safety officers Bill? Lousy job, low pay, long hours, unappreciated by large swaths of the often times hostile citizenry, high risk, high stress, etc.. Public safety officers also miss a whole lot of family time and you can bet some serious green that they aren't missing family time sucking Martinis and eating big ass prime steaks at Ticos.

Public safety officers easily sacrifice more than the part-time legislators upon whom you want to lavish special treatment. So how about public safety officers Bill? Are you eager to give them an extra $500 (average) drop in their retirement buckets?

Burke said...

The great Charlie Deaton, then in the Mississippi Senate, was a guest lecturer at a political science class. He told us that the main thing legislators were focused on was . . . and he slapped his back pants pocket where his billfold was. I have seen a few exceptions. Very few.

Anonymous said...

What can be said about 'wayward Bill' that hasn't already been said. He seems to suggest that part time legislators are sacrificing their time and are losing income by coming to the big city to take care of the people's business. I challenge to name ONE, just ONE legislator who has ever lost income while in session.

I dare say none ever have. Poor souls, giving up the ability to sell an insurance policy back at home and having to grovel for a steak at Tico's provided by one of many folks anxious to pick up the tab.

No legislator has EVER lost income while occupying the position. They've diligently granted themselves special privilege, exception and benefits since the beginning of time.

Bill finishes the year 2013 earning the Dunce of The Year Award.

Anonymous said...

I am 5:47 am above. Yes, I choose to be a state employee along with all the low pay, etc. And yet, the state legislators choose to run for office, too. So let's not have any of this talking out both sides of your mouth.

And yes, with my crappy state job I have a second job to make ends meet. I choose, that, too. I still made sure I attended almost every game and event my kids had, and most of the legislators do, too. Check their attendance and voting records and tell me how many have 100%.

I'm just saying SLRP isn't necessary, even if it's "just $500 or so extra" as "Bill" says.

You treat state employees equally, or just call it what it is, special treatment.

Pugnacious said...

Uncle Dave Macon and Chicken Little were right!

Anonymous said...

Bill now interjects a 'new' term into the SLRP/PERS debate ~ Practical.

So, it's impractical to even bother with several million. It's impractical to consider restraining this animal before it grows to full maturity and runs wild. It's impractical to discuss since legislators are sacrificing.

This SLRP thing is identical to the types of special perks and dispensations we see granted to staffs on the hill in D.C. Oh, but it's so minimal. It's impractical to even fret over it.

Pugnacious said...

Oh, but it's so minimal. It's impractical to even fret over it.

Oh, yeah, like Congress' claim that the $20,000,000,000 yearly stipend to Israel is only a "drop-in-the-bucket" inthe US' foreign aid package

bill said...

Once again, to compare law enforcement, teachers, game wardens, clerks, prison guards, public relations specialists or any other full time state job to the part time job of state legislator is not a valid comparison. I think one of the truest axioms in business, public and private, is that the people at the low end of the pay scale always give you more value than their pay indicates, and in a perfect world would all be making more money. I'm sorry we don't have enough tax dollars to pay the highway patrolmen and teachers and everyone else more money, but that reality doesn't put them in the same employment classification as a part time state legislator.

I guess it's good that so many people can get so up in arms over such a comparatively small amount of money. I encourage each of you to contact your legislators and make sure they know how you feel. I'm sure they would rather be reelected than keep their SLRP money, and they might change how they feel about it if they know that's the issue upon which you are going to base your vote.

Anonymous said...

Bill enjoys pulling straw men out of thin air. He also seems to enjoy drawing invalid conclusions. Nobody in this discussion has 'compared' part time legislators with full time state employees. However, all of them are (for the most part) under the umbrella of PERS, and it is unfair, if not illegal, if not unethical, for the group in power to build itself a certain pile of special perks while pretending to play by the same rule book as others are required to.

What if they were only awarding themselves special parking privileges or upscale per diem or laptops at state expense or cut rate car tags or tickets to SEC ball games or catered lunches at our expense day in and day out. All of those things would be minimal in monetary value. Are those things Bill would find impractical to even fret over? Probably.

It is currently illegal for the legislature to touch, redirect, skim or otherwise mess with the PERS funds. Thank God and the voters who keep the pressure on. But, if they choose to pass a Ted Kennedy type bill which allows them to do those things, I reckon Bill will give that a pass too. If it were not for the voting block PERS members represent, there's no telling how the legislature and governor would treat them.

And while I've never heard of the 'axiom' to which Bill eludes (that he made up) I have no doubt he's a liberal and favors raising wages for all as he said, "in a perfect world would all be making more money."

It don't matter what 'classification' a legislator fits into. It's unfair and unethical for them to vote themselves special privilege just because they know damned well they can.

Anonymous said...

I suspect some of the reaction is that unlike other people who work in government or out, legislators get to give themselves pay raises, benefits and perks.

They aren't held responsible for incompetence on the job, only if they do something personally scandalous or illegal. The tools available to legislators to CYA and hide incompetence are not available in other jobs.

They are supposed to be minding the hen house, not feasting off the hens!

It's not the amount of money, it's that it's indicative of a bigger problem...hubris.



Anonymous said...

These boys are right down there with roaches, turds, and termites.

Anonymous said...

All three thrive in dark, moist environments.

Anonymous said...

I've seen it mentioned and yet "crickets". Surely someone (ahem, Sen. McDaniel and his crew) has filed a bill to eliminate or opt-out of SLRP. Nothing?

More Benefits For 400, Alex said...

Speaking of these jobs being part time....were they part time when these people put their name in the hat? Surely they didn't apply for these jobs because of the 'benefits'. Surely they wanted to 'serve'. They're well compensated in numerous ways during their period of service.

But, back to those benefits ~ If they knew what benefits came with the part time, seasonal job, what nerve they have restructuring the benefits to make themselves more comfortable.

I'm sure there are Ben Franklin, Andy Rooney and Chuck Norris quotes out there in cyberspace that address those who have the ability to vote themselves increases and perks.

Anonymous said...

As with all of PERS, being a member is a condition of employment.

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