In a bit of good news for public employees statewide, the retirement system board was told this week that contribution rates will not have to increase for the coming budget cycle.
Public Employees Retirement System Executive Officer Tina Leiss said after reviewing the system’s finances, actuaries concluded no increase would be needed for 2018 and 2019.
For the 93,000 regular employees in PERS, the rate will remain at 28 percent of pay. For the 12,000 police/fire employees covered, the rate will stay at 40 percent.
In both cases, state workers pay half that amount while state government covers the other half. In many local governments and school districts, the public entity covers the entire cost.
Leiss said PERS had a good year, reducing its unfunded liability by just more than 1 percent to 25.9 percent and increasing the total revenue in the fund $2.2 billion to $35.9 billion. Overall, that’s a 7.7 percent return for the year.
There are currently 61,180 receiving checks form PERS including not only retirees but their spouses and survivors.
State workers two years ago were hit with an effective pay cut because PERS raised rates as mandated by statute a full 2.25 percent. Since the state and employees split that increase, state workers saw a 1.125 percent pay cut.
Altogether, PERS provides retirement benefits to 105,167 people in public employment at 190 different governmental entities. Those entities range all the way form the Clark County School District and state government to tiny GIDs and mosquito abatement districts.
PERS has been touted by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top performing public retirement systems in the nation.