Saturday, February 9, 2019

AG to Retirees: Show Up!

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement.

Attorney General Jim Hood is encouraging state retirees to attend a meeting Tuesday with the Board of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) regarding their ability to run for a state legislative seat without forfeiting retirement benefits.

General Hood issued an opinion on November 29 (attached and linked here) confirming that retired state employees should keep their pension while serving in the Mississippi Legislature. PERS already allows retirees to serve in a local elective office but not in the Legislature.

"The PERS Retiree members have vested rights to their benefits, are entitled to receive their benefits and, if qualified and elected, they have a right to serve as a representative or senator in the Mississippi Legislature without forfeiture of their PERS retirement benefits," the opinion says. General Hood issued another opinion in January answering related questions (attached and linked here).

On Tuesday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m., the PERS Board will discuss whether to adopt regulations implementing the Attorney General’s opinion in time for the March 1, 2019 deadline to qualify as a candidate for the Legislature. The meeting will be at the PERS office at 429 Mississippi Street in Jackson. General Hood strongly encourages any current government employees or retirees with any interest in potentially running for the Legislature office now or in the future to attend this important meeting and voice their support. For those who cannot attend Tuesday’s meeting, call PERS at 800-444-7377 or 601-359-3589 or email​.

“Every citizen of this state deserves an equal opportunity to stand for elected office. We should work together to remove this financial barrier which keeps retired teachers, law enforcement, social workers, health care workers and other hard working retirees from fully participating in our state government,” General Hood said. “For too many years, the state has denied public retirees their hard-earned retirement money if they choose to continue serving their state as a legislator. Mississippi desperately needs and deserves its best citizens, including retirees, serving as legislators. I encourage anyone who works for the state who has ever had the smallest interest in one day serving as a legislator or in a statewide elected position to attend Tuesday’s meeting, as the decisions of PERS will directly impact your future ability to be a public servant while still receiving your retirement.”

Tuesday’s PERS meeting is a special-called board meeting. The meeting agenda can be found here.

WHO: State of Mississippi employees and retirees

WHAT: Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: 429 Mississippi Street, Jackson, MS

If unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, call PERS at 800-444-7377 or 601-359-3589 or email​.


Anonymous said...

You misspelled PANDERING Kingfish.

So they, Retirees that could potentially be elected, can vote on bills that puts money in their pockets by increasing the COLA or up the % s that retirees get, like the legislature did in 90s, a la Hob Bryan, with no source of funding?

Yeah this is a GREAT idea, Hood. When Hood wants to raise taxes to pay for it you will know who to blame.

If they want to serve they can put their PERS on hold just like anyone that is elected and did business with the state. Period.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:41. Hood is pandering to State E'Es and retirees. This is disappointing.

Kingfish said...

So you don't think they should be able to run for office?

Anonymous said...

"Double dipping" is the American way.

Anonymous said...

I’m with the Fish on this.

Anonymous said...

If they are not accruing additional PERS benefits, then I have no problem with them serving while getting benefits.

Maybe I'm Confused Here - said...

Every member of the legislature already has the ability to "vote on bills that puts money in their pockets by increasing the COLA or up the % s that retirees get", 1:41. Or do you not realize that?

However, I believe PERS retirees are now required to stop receiving benefits if they enter another PERS covered position as an employee (not a private contractor), so, why should this be any different?

Anonymous said...

Hood's release helps prove that his 'official opinion', issued as he prepares to enter his first seriously contested statewide race, was nothing but a political ploy to gain the votes of state retirees, especially to tighten up his control of teachers' votes

But why should we be surprised? Everything Hood has done has been to benefit himself, either politically or financially. And before he and his henchmen jump in and complain about his financial benefits - check his campaign finance reporting. He has been living out of his campaign account for years - and where did those campaign contributions come from? The same trial lawyers that he was giving high paying contingency cases providing those firms (many from out of state, plus of course Mike Moore). Sweet deal. They make millions, give half million or so to Hood and he uses that to pay his ordinary living expenses during off years.

So this ploy with a raid on PERS, to be paid by tax increases, is not surprising.

Anonymous said...

Hood has the retirees back, Tater wants to take the shirt off their back. Why shouldn't Hood let retirees know this.

Anonymous said...

Most legislators vote on items that effect them. They are lawyers who write the laws that they will use to sue people, insurance executives who vote on insurance laws, health care people who vote on Medicaid reimbursement. Can’t be worse than the scammers there now.

Anonymous said...

@6:40, proof about Hood?

Anonymous said...

7:59; If it were not true, you'd see all those donations in a 'cash on hand account'. Look there, then come back.

Anonymous said...

The Legislature votes on its own taxes. The PERS exclusion is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

^^^^5:28 yep

Anonymous said...

Mr. AG
At the request of PERS in 2017 the Legislature changed the way service credit was awarded. From the beginning of time credit was awarded as follows

1-3 months = 1/4 year
4-6 months = 1/2 year
7-9 months = 3/4 year
10-12 months = 1 year.

Effective 2017 credit is granted at .0833 for each month of employment. Quarters are no longer relevant.

Now employees who had been able to retire May 1st of their 25th year are no longer eligible to retire.
They must now work through until July 1st.

School employees contracted for 10 months will have to work an additional 4 years to retire at .50% of their salary.

How is it legal for PERS to change the benefit calculation for all existing employees in 2017? it would have made sense if the change applied only to new hires only.

We entered state employment years ago with a certain benefit for retirement and now PERS has decreased that benefit,

will you please address this at the meeting?

thank you.


Anonymous said...

Current and former state employees should certainly be permitted to run for any elected office. It is a slap in the face to everyone to be treated like a criminal and not be allowed to run for political office. For retirees, it should be like any other state job in that you would have to enroll in the retirement program and would forego your retirement draw until you retire again.
Taking this a step further, state employee restrictions on forming a union and going on strike should be abolished. This would help give state employees enough leverage to get a raise they deserve. The cost of living has increased by about 21% in the past 12 years, but ZERO salary increase has been giving, but the taxpayers continue to fund projects for out of state corporations across Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

...Unless you are the powerful Mississippi Highway Patrol. You can retire from MHP and then pick up another state job that pays into PERS while collecting your MHP retirement.

Anonymous said...

Its been a bad week or two for Tate. According to the news, he's an old south general who associates with black face and he hates retirees.

He don't know who he's messing with in AG Good.

Anonymous said...

"How is it legal for PERS to change the benefit calculation for all existing employees in 2017?"

It's not. That's why they had the Legislature do it. Hello?

Anonymous said...

Kingfish Asks: "So you don't think they should be able to run for office?"

Who said that? I just don't think a special exception should be carved out for retirees who are elected to serve in the legislature. What makes them special? Well...other than being able to define and enhance their own retirement gratis.

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