Thursday, February 16, 2023

In Their Own Words

 Check out what the retirees thought after the PERS Board of Trustees voted to increase the employer contribution rate from 17.4% to a record 22.4% last December on their Facebook page: 

"Mindful of the cost? Do they even know what the costs are to "employers"?  The retirees went nuts in this February 7 post: 

The following anonymous “fact sheet” is being circulated by the legislature to try to diffuse some of the successful protest PERS members have generated in response to HB 605 which would give the legislature authority to override/veto decisions made by the PERS board regarding the financial health of the fund and protection of PERS members (KF notes are in italics)

the emplover's contribution from 17.4% to 22.4%, effective Oct. 1, 2023 - almost a 30% increase.

Never let it be said the retirees can do math. 5/17.4 x 100 = 28.7%, almost 30%. Is that just a "fact"?

• Every public entity in the state that participates in PERS (including the State, municipalities, counties and school districts) would have to substantially raise taxes, cut services or find another source of funds to sustain that contribution rate increase.

Where do the retirees think the money will come from to pay for the increases? Do you think JPS has an extra $7 million lying around? Does Jackson have an extra $3.5 million? Rankin County School District will have to pay several million dollars more every year. Never let it be said retirees understand economics. If the governments don't have some honey pot stuffed with cash, that means they will have to raise taxes, lay off employees, or cut services. It's that simple. Apparently the retirees are mad someone dared point out this "fact."

• House Bill 605 would freeze the current 17.4% employer contribution rate (as well as the current employee contribution rate) and would require the PERS board of trustees to present a proposal to put the state retirement plan on sound financial footing so that the contribution rates will not periodically increase.

How many contribution increases have been implemented over the last ten years? Three? Four (including this one)? The PERS Board said each time that was all it needed to restore the system to solvency. Obviously it's not working. The Executive Director told the Senate Finance Committee last week the problem was structural, not one of investment performance (sounds like this website.). At what point does the legislature say enough is enough and tell the Board to figure something out? Do these people exist in a bubble?

• House Bill 605 would have no effect on the benefits of current or future retirees.

Um, the bill said nothing about benefits. Duh.
• House Bill 605 would have no effect on current employees'

Do NOT be fooled by this. It does not identify where these”Facts” came from nor is there any verification from PERS as to the authenticity of its claims. It is an election year and the only concern for you the legislature has is losing your votes and those of your family this fall. Please continue to make your opposition to HB 605 known as the House will be taking the bill up on the house floor today and the deadline for floor action on this bill is Thursday, Feb 9. You may have heard Gov. Reeves state that the state is in the best financial condition ever so there should be no need for tax increases or the other scare tactics the legislature is trying to use to get you to quit calling and emailing about HB 605
This bill Will have a negative effect on those who are retired and active employees
The first two sentences of this paragraph says it all.  
The retirees don't want to deal in reality. They just want to conjure up whatever makes them feel good. Woe be to anyone in office who tries to have any kind of meaningful discussion. These people aren't interested in discussions. They just want you to shut the hell up and give them whatever they want and that, my friends, is the bottom line.


Anonymous said...

Facebook has truly become boomerville.

And also subsidized comms for third worlders on prepaid mobile phones.

Anonymous said...

I know about the increase to the agencies. Here is the problem, all they have to do is give me my money back as a state employee and I will invest myself. It's not my fault the PEERS is stupid. As state employees we have no say what goes on with our own retirement money. I have started another investment portfolio because I really don't know if it will be solvent when i retire.

Anonymous said...

I think the legal term for PERS is ‘Ponzi Scheme’

Anonymous said...

PERS makes for a scary story, until you realize that the state is running a $4 billion budget surplus.

Anonymous said...

Could have floated bonds and plugged half the hole in 2021-2022 when interest rates were near zero. The payments on the bonds would be less than the cost of the proposed contribution increases to the state. But no, we have go send that money back to fat cats in the form of tax rebates and tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

Attn 10:57 Apparently you are the dumb one. It is called “PERS” not “PEERS.

Anonymous said...

Chris Graham should skip the PERs meetings and go fix ABC.


Every restaurant owner and package store owner in Mississippi

Anonymous said...

Katie bar the door! There's going to be run on PERS.

Anonymous said...

Austerity! Give us austerity! Everyone gets a haircut!

PittPanther said...

What a poorly-run state. Too paraphrase #45, Mississippi is a real s--thole state.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should get what they work for and deserve. I’ll start with me getting to keep my paycheck and not paying taxes to finance others early retirements.

Anonymous said...

Working 30 years for the state or any other company is not early retirement. It’s just retirement.

Anonymous said...

Would love to know if the PERS staff is willing to share the stats on how many applications have been filed for PERS refunds in the last few years, and if there's an uptick in those numbers. That would show if there were in fact a "run" beginning....

Anonymous said...

@7:29am, not true, quite the opposite, the rest of Mississippi taxpayers work 40-50 years AND PAY Mississippi state income taxes to subsidize PERS. Private sector pensions don’t use taxes to pay for their pensions like PERS so don’t really care how long they have to work to retire. Other states are going broke to trying to pay their state retirees early retirement. Common workers in Mississippi cannot retire til they get SS at 67. You’re oblivious to reality. In other words, people working at Walmart and everywhere else til they are 67 are paying the taxes to subsidize your early retirement at 55 years old from PERS. Good luck trying to justify that.

Anonymous said...

8:33 - While I'm busy trying to justify, how about you get busy justifying your scatter-gun generalizations. I'm a PERS retiree who worked 42 years until I could finally afford to retire at 65. I've known many state, county and municipal employees who worked 40-50 years prior to retiring. You're no white knight in shining armour in that regard.

You're the one oblivious to reality. People do not have a goal of retiring at 67, nor do most work until that age. People have a goal of retiring as soon as they can afford to, regardless of age. Nobody can afford to retire without health care coverage and PERS doesn't offer or provide that.

Anybody covered by PERS who retires at 55 has worked for 30 years. Anybody who retires at that age is either on a spouse's health plan or is working another job to pay for healthcare. 30 years of work is not early retirement. You posted nonsense. But you feel good about it.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:48 - Unless one has left the system, there is no such thing as applying for a PERS refund.

Wow said...

You are pointing blame at the wrong things. The fundamental issue is not the retirees or even the Board. It's much bigger than that. It is all consequences of irresponsible Central Banking. The devaluation of the dollar and how quickly it is devaluing due to irresponsible spending and printing of dollars.

The fiat monetary system is broken. There is nowhere to run. In the last three years we have literally seen the 10 year treasury yields at <1% and both stocks and bonds dropping at the same time. Very scary cracks in the financial system.

The more money that is printed, the more quickly it has to be deployed into investments because today it is losing its value so quickly. That's why in the last 40 years, most people aren't just "teachers" or "firefighters" or "policemen." They are also investors. Because money has to be deployed into a yield earning asset so quickly because it is being devalued so quickly.

Sadly, the most at risk is the middle class. There is increasing pressure on pension funds and insurance companies to take on more risk in the reach for yield so that promised future benefits can be met. Meanwhile, savers are being punished and have been earning next to nothing.

Central banks have lost the independence they have always claimed is vital. They have bowed to financial markets and the insatiable appetite of governments for cheap credit. A very scary formula.

Anonymous said...

yeah, 8:33, screw state employees and how they just sponge off taxpayers. Who cares if they're f*cking REQUIRED to participate in PERS? who cares whether or not they'll get what they were promised in exchange for working for this sorry ass state. who needs em? get rid of em all, right? get rid of the state income tax, too. just go with a sales tax, right? you think that'll work out well for your walmart employees?

Anonymous said...


It's a shitty deal for state employees, but it's not like PERS being underfunded is new. Politicians promised employees money that other people would pay for. PERS participants made their deal and they're hoping future taxpayers get screwed. Hopefully they have planned for some sort of haircut so if it happens, it won't be too painful for them. But while it's a shitty deal for them, if they are banking on (and advocating for) future taxpayers getting screwed, they don't exactly have clean hands.

Anonymous said...

@9:42, from the PERS website below, says retirees are eligible for state-sponsored health insurance through PERS and they conveniently withhold premiums for retirees.


Each retiree is responsible for deciding on the right insurance coverage to fit his or her personal needs. However, for the members who continue participation in the state-sponsored insurance plan after they retire and for the Medicare-eligible retirees who choose participation in the PERS-sponsored plan, PERS conveniently withholds premiums from benefit payments.

Anonymous said...

@11:16 - only true for state employees, not county, city...etal.

Anonymous said...

Name one time the elected officials in Jackson acted proactively
About 15 years ago I was told by a member of the House who had
been in office for many years that “We don’t get anything out of preventing
a problem but when we fix a problem we all look good”He was one of
the old time politicians but I guarantee it still holds true
When PERS is on its last leg and it’s an election year something will finally happen

Anonymous said...

9:42 For many years my goal was to retire at 65. Now I am 65 and I hope to never retire. I have seen so many people wane physically and mentally after retirement. When my friends tell me they are retiring I ask "Why?"
Retirement is a recent invention. Stay productive. Keep working.

Anonymous said...

@11:16 - Here is the comment to which you replied: "Nobody can afford to retire without health care coverage and PERS doesn't offer or provide that."

The comment in quotation marks is accurate. PERS does not offer or provide insurance continuation.

Given some choices available to eligible retirees (the retiree pays for all choices), PERS only serves as a third-party conduit by withholding the insurance premium the retiree elects to pay for his insurance.

I believe you are trying to suggest that PERS OFFERS insurance coverage to retirees. It does NOT. Insurance continuation is very expensive.

Anonymous said...

So, 8:33, you may not be aware, but in addition to the taxes that state employees pay (sales, income, property, etc.--just like every other citizen), they also pay a mandatory employee contribution--to which they have no choice or say. Part of the retirement"benefit" was always to offset the lower pay that professionals working in state government get. For example, in many state agencies, the state has professionals who are REQUIRED to have a bachelor's degree, but who earn less than a fast-food hourly worker.

But, in return for the lower salaries, they get "benefits." There is a portion of their pay that goes toward health insurance and retirement--neither of which is very competitive with the private sector anymore. Their insurance doesn't include things like vision or dental--that comes completely out of pocket. So, in a way, state employees, who generally are already paid less than their private sector counterparts, get to pay extra for their own retirement.

Best of all, every time they increase the employEE contribution, it is a pay cut for employees--again, which they have no say in. Unlike the federal government, which has annual salary increases and pay adjustments throughout the year, state employees may go years without any upward adjustment.

It is one of the reasons it is getting harder and harder to find and keep good employees. But you want services provided (like water testing) and roads fixed, what are you going to do?

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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.

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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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