Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The ________ are still SLRPing away

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 25-11-301
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"." 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
185 retirees.
Funding level: 76%
Annual benefits paid: $1.134 million
Average age of SLRP beneficiary: 71
Contributions: $722,000
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
Still SLRPing
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?


Anonymous said...

So sad and embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

This was a dollar bob Montgomery deal

Anonymous said...

SLRP is why the Legislature will never reform PERS until it teeters on the edge of insolvency -- and it is almost there now. SLRP is why the Legislature will never investigate Pat Robertson's complete bungling of the PERS migration to a new software system.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please explain how the average active member pay is $39,000?

Anonymous said...

12:39, They count expense reimbursements as covered compensation. Deceptive isn't it.

Anonymous said...

GREED is the rule of the day in the legislature. Phil Bryant could introduce legislation to abolish it but he and the legislators are too greedy. He acts like a fiscal conservative on everything else. When it comes to his pocketbook, he is consumed with using his slimy hands to steal our money.

Don't forget, campaign contributions are legalized bribes and kickbacks as they can be used for personal purposes in this state. Our elected officials can even cheat and not pay taxes on this. The law says they should but the DOR looks the other way.

Anonymous said...

Did you bitch @1:12 PM when Boss Hogg Haley assigned all of his lobbying clients to his son while busy giving away taxpayer dollars for boondoggles as Governor?

Anonymous said...

overtime someone interviews a legislator, their beginning and ending question should always be about when that person will be introducing legislation to eliminate SLRP. Very sad that this state is how it is in so many ways, and these alleged stewards of our tax dollars rob us blind!

Anonymous said...

It really amazes me how much credit our legislatures give themselves for their service. I know more than a few of them and with very few exceptions these men and women are not very bright and likely could not make a living using their own efforts. Instead they rely on campaign donations, favors, kickbacks and inside information to make a living while getting marching orders from their party or major donors.

Anonymous said...

Love when our local legislators talk about how sick people are of "do nothing government" employees as if we are not referring to them.

Anonymous said...

I advocate for one retirement system in the state with two categories of employees, law enforcement and civilians (including legislators, elected officials and administrative positions within law enforcement agencies), with the only difference being the length of time required for eligibility. 20 years for ALL law enforcement (not just our beloved troopers) and 25 years for civilians - imagine how this schema would stabilize the troopers retirement, provide the opportunity to compete for real talent and eliminate duplicative overhead. I would also tighten restrictions on contract employees and "double dippers" there are too many antique troopers dragging on the state's payroll.

It would be interesting to see which self anointed "fiscal conservative" has the integrity (READ: balls) to file the bill to eliminate SLRP. That being said, SLRP is probably the closest we'll ever come to eternal life on this planet.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:28p.m. SLOW GOLF CLAP......dead on correct.

@ 4:09p.m., I agree with your thoughts, but I think some major house cleaning needs to occur in MHP first, and I also think language need to be written in for instances such as Chris Epps in that if convicted of criminal activity, monies get seized

Kingfish said...

Ok, some of you ask why no one covers this subject? I'm watching my traffic counter. Not even 500 hits on what is a good traffic day. The UMMC post got double the number of hits and that is a rather mundane boring story. The media doesn't cover this issue because you, the readers, don't read about it nor do you demand that they do so. The truth is, hardly any of you care about SLRP and that is why nothing is done about it.

You get the government you deserve.

Anonymous said...

KF, I don't think that its not that we don't care, it's the reality that nobody in the legislature has the courage to confront real reform. Folks already know that SLRP is a scam, so there's nothing new here.

Find a legislator who wants to initiate reform of the system, and you'll see many more clicks and comments.

Stand Up And Be Counted! said...

Screw your 'traffic counter'. Look back to Charlie Capps, Sonny Meredith and that group of neanderthals for the placement of blame for this thievery from the public treasury.

Kingfish said...

"Screw you traffic counter"

How about I don't cover this at all? Act like a spoiled brat and I will treat you as one.

Anonymous said...

Since being a legislator is a part-time job, why are they even eligible for retirement benefits?

Anonymous said...

KF, I totally agree with 5:33's comment. People do care, but we have no idea how to make the legislature reform SLRP or PERS...pp systems from which they, these lawmakers, receive much unmerited $$$ benefit.

Anonymous said...

"How about I don't cover this at all? Act like a spoiled brat and I will treat you as one."
Really? Kind of thin-skinned aren't we?
Apparently you think that tossing playground insults and threats back and forth is the way to go.
Either way, your response says a lot about you.
I don't expect you to post this, and really don't care if you do, or don't, but, I did expect more from you than that.

Anonymous said...

SLuRP is the biggest boondoggle in the history of our state. Literally, the politicians are taking money out of our pockets and putting it into their pockets. Yet, we ignore this ongoing graft every day. Good job for taking up the topic KF. Perhaps, we can "imagine" a day when our elected legislators take their hands out of our pockets and stop playing shell games to distract our attention. What say you Phil, Tate, Phillip? Wanna cut government waste? Stop taking from us.

Anonymous said...

...and all they have to do is get elected for ONE term to become vested...whereas teachers must work eight years FULL TIME to become vested...they think the acronym "SLRP" is humorous...it would be if it weren't so indicative of this state's mentality...talk about a arrogant sense of entitlement...sheesh

Anonymous said...

The only people that oppose elimination of this scam are the legislators themselves. Find me one citizen (not closely related to a legislator) that thinks they should get "additional" retirement compensation over regular state employees. My guess is that any one posting opposition on this site should instead be focused on doing their job (instead of knocking back drinks and eating free steaks at ticos and char.

Anonymous said...

KF I do think people are interested I just think we don't know what to do and we are afraid we will be targeted by officials if we speak our mind. Please someone make some good suggestions of what to do about this SLRP situation. We all know it's greedy and wrong but we need some constructive ideas on how to eliminate or combat . Please suggest ,

Anonymous said...

Kingfish - please write an op-ed for the Clarion Ledger on this issue. Use 8th grade language and examples so the legislature's constituants can understand.

Anonymous said...

I am apathetic to this because NOTHING will change. We (the people of our state) keep electing the SAME no goods who preach the same rhetoric. I went to the Governor's inauguration event today. It was the same typical BS from the same blow hards. They all want to preach conservatism & looking out for the great state. The above shows that's nothing but bullshit. They don't care about anyone but themselves. Phil preaches conservatism and values and guns and...anything that appeals to his audience. All the while he lines his pockets & gets richer & richer. Tate stands up there with the same bullshit. The truth-he's an ego maniac who wants money and power. He would step on his dying momma's chest if it meant he could get a step up. I want to care. I want to believe. I want to hope for a better future in our state. The reality-that will never happen in our state. We keep electing and repeating the same mistakes. It's the sad truth.

Gimme Gimme said...

How do you expect people to get involved in a discussion of something they don't understand? Seriously. Kingfish only rolls out a little topwater information about SLuRP with a sprinkling of critical remarks and a few snide remarks and expects the traffic count to skyrocket.

Not one in ten can even tell you what the acronym stands for, much less what the moving parts are.

It was intended that members of the state legislature be private citizens, part timers, with full time occupations back home. None of this should carry a retirement benefit anyway. They should have a retirement program associated with their 'real' job.

When you are allowed to vote on your own pay, benefits and retirement, you have a front row seat at the hog trough.

(Cue the clip of nineteen pink pigs in a mud-bog fighting over a bucket of corn, all with the face of Steve Holland)

Anonymous said...

Never pass a benefit law that doesn't benefit you. Should be one of Murphy's Laws.

Anonymous said...

Changes needed for Mississippi Legislature:

-State House of Representatives need only be at most 100 members, not 122. Most states with much greater populations have 100 or fewer House members.

-State Senate could be 40 to 50 members, not 52. Google state legislatures in most other, and larger states, get the point!!!

-Build the existing members, or rent or find space, for them to all have a regular office near the Capitol Building with at least one full time paid staffer, a legislative assistant, Chief of Staff so to speak, to help handle their office-type duties.

-Raise their regular yearly pay to at least 25k to 30k per year, eliminate the "in-session" per-diem pay, and allow only a reasonable mileage re-imbursement for expense pay. Make it illegal for them to except any paid-trips from outside and private sources other than the actual state of Mississippi itself paying for some type of educational conference, etc.

-Eliminate any form of pension pay other than regular employment status as a state employee in PERS.

-Give the Legislature a maximum of 60 to 75 days per year for being "in session"

-Cap all campaign contributions at reasonable levels per individual and per corporation and per PAC. Similar to Federal rules. Outside PACS are still outside PACS and can spend freely.


Lenitto Juarez said...

Why don't we trust our elected officials? They do work much harder than we do especially at Char, Table 100, Ticos, and their newer favorite hangout Seafood Revolution. That is to say they work hard at
getting all of the free meals, and drinks all around the town. But they are looking out for us and "the children".

Fed-up Conservative said...

Has there been any attempt to eliminate this?

Anonymous said...

It would make a great investigative piece for the national media...they love this kind of thing. Certainly someone around here has friends in high places with connections to the media.

Anonymous said...

One of the legislators told me how much he gets per diem for food. It wasn't really all that much but he was sure proud of the fact that he doesn't have to spend any of it. Said there is always a party, buffet or some free event the legislators go to eat.

They will all tell you they work so much harder than part time too. Having to deal with their voters and all back home. Say its a full time job and they earn it. Then they have the nerve to call what they do "public service". Laughable.

Anonymous said...

Nearly every Legislator who lives within an hour driving time of Jackson commutes in on a daily basis during the session. Many who live even farther out do also. Pay them mileage and stipend for lunch but not the full per diem.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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