The head of the Public Employees Retirement System told lawmakers on Tuesday they need to add nine more staff to handle the system’s growing workload – most of the workers in the Las Vegas office.
Executive Director Tina Leiss told the Legislature there are currently five employees down south who simply can’t keep up with the workload. She said especially problematic is the number of Clark County School District employees retiring because they have to have an appointment after 3 p.m. when school is out and “tend to retire at the same time” — at the end of the school year.
Leiss said the school district is by far the largest employer in the PERS system with nearly double the number of employees in state service. The appointment calendar for those current southern workers, she said, is full until May.
Leiss said the system now represents 105,167 employees working for 202 public employers in Nevada. That’s nearly as many as the 106,123 before the recession.
The system provides benefits to about 61,000 retirees.
PERS, which has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best run public retirement systems in the country, reduced its unfunded liability this past year by a full percent and is now better than 73 percent funded. The system has $27.9 billion in assets for the 93,030 regular employees and $8 billion in assets to cover the 12,137 in the police-fire plan.
The average retiree benefit, she said, is $2,702 a month for regular retirees and $4,731 for police-fire retirees.
Leiss also repeated her December announcement because of the system’s health, no increase in retirement premiums would be required for the coming biennium. That means the rate will remain at 28 percent of pay for all regular employees and 40 percent for police-fire employees.