SLRP. The retirement fund that is appropriately named by its acronym. Supplemental Legislative Retirement Fund. It's a declaration by the legislature that states our elected solons are indeed better than the rest of us. The legislature created SLRP to give themselves extra retirement pay not available to other state employees. Call it time and a half pay for doing half of the work- if that much. The program currently holds a little over $16 million in assets.
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 25-11-301Section 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"." In other words, SLRP gives legislators time and a half retirement pay in comparison to teachers, police officers, prosecutors, and other state employees.
PERS administers SLRP. (There is a SLRP section on its website.) The retirement pay is based on an average of the four highest-paid years of legislative service. Here is a financial snapshot on SLRP:
174 active members
Funding level: 76%
Annual benefits paid: $1.134 million
Average age of SLRP beneficiary: 71
Deficit ( Annual Benefit payments-contributions): $516,000
Unfunded accrued liability: $5.1 million
Member annual contribution: 3% of salary
Employer rate: 7.4%
Amortization period: 24 years
Active member average annual pay: $39,432 (p.23)
Average benefit paid : $6,127 per year or $510 per month. ($1.133 million /185 benefits paid/# of beneficiaries)
Keep in mind that these guys already receive regular retirement benefits as members of PERS!!! SLRP is an extra payment they receive courtesy of our taxes.
You know the story. Money is tight. We have more needs than resources. Corrections officers are woefully underpaid. Medicaid is always running broke. The state parks never receive the attention they deserve. Meanwhile, these guys live in an alternate universe where they think they are more special than the state employees who serve and protect us. The ones who actually do the real work.
SLRP is one thing that everyone agrees on in the legislature. You don't hear one peep about this perk from those who are usually outraged at being outraged: the Black Caucus, McDanielites, the good gummint conservatives, and even the few remaining white Democrats. Bobby Moak didn't say one word about SLRP in all of the numerous press releases he dropped on the media. Conservative or liberal leadership, it doesn't matter as the result stays the same: silence. Call it the Mississippi omerta. Don't expect any changes regardless of who gets elected. These guys love to SLRP.
Make no mistake, SLRP is not even 0.01% the size of PERS as PERS enjoys assets of $25 billion. However, SLRP sets a standard that treats the legislature as a favored few. The legislators don't deserve this extra pay and it's a stain on the government of Mississippi. The legislature should abolish SLRP and be treated the same as the other state employees who do know something about work and sacrifice. The only SLRPing the legislature should do is at Tico's. SLRP needs to go.
Earlier posts on SLRP
Legislators still SLRPing at the trough
WLBT covers SLRP last night
SLRP now has over $13 million
SLRP fund has over $11 million
WLBT covers SLRP
When do we stop the legislature from double-dipping?
SLRP: Supplemental Legislative Retirement Plan or Pigs SLRPing at a trough?