Public Employee Retirement System

I retired from the Clark County School District nearly 2 years ago. My benefits have steadily decreased and costs have risen since. In preparation to vote, I have a few questions that I would appreciate your views on:

1. Should PERS funds be used only for the purpose of providing retirement benefits?

2. Do you support Nevada PERSdefined benefit system where public employees know how much their monthly retirement benefit will be?

3. Do you believe Nevada public employers should continue to assist their retirees through providing subsidies for those in the PERS plan?

Your views will be appreciated so that I can make a decision and cast my vote for the right candidate.

Txxxxxx Halter

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Henderson, NV 89012

 

 

Dear Ms. Halter,

The PERS system is a benefit used by various government employers in Nevada to attract and retain qualified professionals. State governments may or may not listen to federal senators as pleases them and I am not an expert on the PERS system but I will venture an opinion anyway.

Mismanagement at the federal level has decimated the national economy. This has devastated local economies all across the country and resulted in lower local tax revenues and lower returns on investment for entities such as PERS. As a result, painful choices have to be made to maintain the solvency and long term viability of entities such as PERS.

 

1. Should PERS funds be used only for the purpose of providing retirement benefits?

My understanding is that PERS is a semi independent entity that manages the funds intended to pay the retirement benefits of state, county and some city entity employees. The reputation of PERS is that they are well managed and effective. Historically PERS has been able to provide additional benefits such as health-care supplements. However it appears that they can no longer afford to continue paying these additional costs. If that is the case, the first obligation is to pay retirement benefits.

2. Do you support Nevada PERS defined benefit system where public employees know how much their monthly retirement benefit will be?

Defined benefit and defined contribution plans are both available in the private financial markets. PERS members subscribed based upon the offerings of PERS which have always been defined benefit. Defined contribution plans adjust their payouts based upon their income. PERS must adjust their income based upon projected payouts. A lot of PERS members don't want to expose themselves to the risks of defined contribution plans and do not want to change. Members who wish to change to a defined contribution plan have that option in the private market. So I see no reason to mandate any change in a successful program. It isn't broke so don't break it. On the other hand, the income of PERS has been hit as has every other segment of the American economy. To adapt, PERS must raise income and lower outgo to equal each other. The options available are in adjusting retirement ages, contributions, annual vesting percentages and the basis upon which benefits are paid.

 

3. Do you believe Nevada public employers should continue to assist their retirees through providing subsidies for those in the PERS plan?

Employers should meet their contractual obligations. Employees hired after July of 2006 will receive no supplement. It would be nice if PERS could afford to continue supplementing retirees at current levels. If employers have obligated themselves beyond their ability to pay, as seems to be the case here, then meeting some obligations fully and others not at all is not a fair allocation of pain. When this happens in private companies, they go through a reorganization process in which a judge allocates the existing assets among the existing creditors in as fair a manner as possible. The supplements to retirees should not be adjusted, but it may happen that they must be adjusted in order to assure the solvency and continuation of PERS.

Alex Miller

Alex Miller for U.S. Senate

NevadaCan.com

Alex Miller U.S. Senate


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