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Please Watch Your Mail Box for Your Ballot - Complete and Return or Use the Instructions to Vote On-Line.
We encourage retirees to vote and share the information provided. Make your choice for the person you believe will best serve the interests of current and future retirees.
Ballots for the retiree representative to the PERS Board of Trustees will be mailed out on March 17, 2023. The deadline for receipt of ballots is April 21, 2023.
The candidates for RETIREE REPRESENTATIVE are Bonnie Granger and George Dale.
Having retired members on the PERS Board that support maintaining existing benefits of PERS for current and future retirees is critically essential.
MRPEA is providing Candidate Qualifications, Candidate Surveys, and historical information about the recent vote of the PERS Board to increase employer contribute rates:
Bonnie J. Granter (Ocean Springs)
-Loyola University School of Law, Juris Doctorate
-The University of Southern Mississippi, master's
-Hattiesburg Public School District, chief financial officer
-Certified Public Accountant
-Attorney, Mississippi, and Louisiana
I have vast knowledge and experience in government finance. My career began with the State Auditor's Office and transitioned into public school district finance, where I served three districts as Finance Director. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi and my law degree from Loyola University. I am a licensed CPA and an attorney in Mississippi. My experience gives me an unparalleled advantage in understanding the PERS system. I strongly support maintaining both the health and member benefits of the PERS system for current and future retirees. Thank you for your support.
George R. Dale (Clinton)
-Mississippi College, master's
-Mississippi Department of Insurance, commissioner
-Moss Point High School: teacher, coach, and principal
-Administrative Assistant to Governor Bill Waller
I am completing my first term as a member of the PERS Board. It has been an honor to serve. During my term, I have not missed a board meeting. When I started on the PERS Board, we had a cash reserve of approximately 26.5 billion dollars. That amount has increased to around 36 billion dollars. This board has been very conservative with your retirement funds. I have championed the idea that retired teachers collect their pension but be allowed to work under contract with the public school system. I would appreciate your vote.
Recent vote of the PERS Board to increase employer contribution rates: At its meeting on December 20, 2022, the PERS Board, based on recommendations of the system’s actuaries and staff, voted to increase employer contributions to make PERS benefits sustainable now and into the future. An excerpt from the PERS Board Meeting Minutes that includes the vote of each member is below for your review.
Minutes | Board of Trustees
Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi
December 20, 2022 | PERS Board Room
Motion: To increase the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi employer contribution rate from 17.4 percent to 22.4 percent as of October 1, 2023.
· Made by: McCoy.
· Seconded by: Hanna.
· Discussion: None.
· Voting for: Benson, Breland, Hanna, Howard, McCoy, Rutledge, and Smith.
· Voting against: Dale, Graham, and McRae.
· Absent: None.
· Duly Passed
George Dale’s Answer
Bonnie Granger’s Answer
Do you philosophically support defined benefit plans vs. converting to a 401-K plan?
If elected, will you support the State maintaining the current retirement system benefits including the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA)?
Yes, unless necessary to save the plan
Do you believe that benefits should ever be reduced for:
No, unless no other option
Do you support adjusting employer contribution rates in accordance with the recommendations of the actuary and state law should that become necessary in the future to maintain the current solvency of the system?
Yes. While actuary recommendation is important, there are many factors to consider.
VOTE "NO" TO HOUSE BILL 605
Call your Mississippi House of Representatives NOW! Vote "No" on House Bill 605
If voted into law, this bill would allow the legislature to have veto power over the PERS Board. It would greatly hinder the PERS Board's ability to make fiscally responsible decisions for the system and allow the legislature to tie the Board's hands when making contribution increases.
This bill affects ACTIVE members just as much as it would retired members!
We cannot overstate how dangerous this would be for the health of the PERS retirement system. We ask you to call your legislators and let them know that, as a PERS member, you do NOT support this bill!
NOTE: The legislature already has representation on the PERS Board and this member is present when votes occur. The Legislature is completely aware of any decisions made in PERS Meetings!
Please share this with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to call as well!
Link to the Mississippi House Roster: http://www.legislature.ms.gov/legislators/house-roster/
Link to Mississippi House Bill 605: https://legiscan.com/MS/bill/HB605/2023Paused