Governor Calls Special Session

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says he's calling a special session for lawmakers to consider increasing the amount that state employees pay toward their own retirement.

The special session is taking place within the regular session already underway. Barbour made the announcement less than three hours before the special session was set to begin.

He said he wants educators and employees of state and local governments to pay nine percent of their paychecks toward retirement. That would be an increase from the current seven-and-a-quarter percent.

Barbour says if the change is not made, $70 million could be lost from the state general fund to shore up the pension fund. He says that could translate into layoffs for up to 1,000 employees.

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  • by Teacher Location: Mississippi on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:48 AM
    I think we should have the OPTION to invest more not be required to do it.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2010 at 05:08 AM
    As a state employee, I don't think that it is unfair either and I hear all the comments from co-workers. The only thing that I would ask is that we don't add the entire 1.75% at one time.Many state workers don't make much money and we know times are difficult right now.It would help them adjust to do this in two parts. Maybe 1% this year and the .75% next year. I have said all along that we as employees need to be willing to chip-in some more. Many state employees don't see the value of a mandatory retirement system until it comes time to draw that check, then they see what it is really worth. FYI, I am less than three years until retirement. By the way, I encourage every state employee to go to one of the PERS retirement seminars(go on line to schedule), particularly if you have as much as 10-15 years in. You will learn alot about your retirement and I think, appreciate it more.
  • by Citizen Location: Newton County on Apr 22, 2010 at 06:44 PM
    I think this is reasonable. It will only benefit the employee in the end.
  • by Pay-My-Own-Way on Apr 22, 2010 at 02:31 PM
    I do not think this an unreasonable request. I know there will be those that scream "this is part of the reason I accepted a job with the state; to change retirement now is unfair". However, my retirement is not where it was when I began my career either. My employer conributes 3% to my retirement and I kick in another 12% out of my own pocket into this account and another 5% into a retirement outside of work. This is 17% from me and another 17% from my spouse which equals 34% of our income going towards retirement. Since we are living in an unusual financial climate(worse since the 1930's), I don,t think asking state/local employees to kick in another 1.75% is unreasonable. After all, the only thing that is constant is change.
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