(for full-time employees)
Meridian Airport Authority provides membership to the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) and offers Mississippi Deferred Compensation (MDC).
PERS covers employees of state agencies, public schools, community colleges, universities, and participating political subdivisions like cities and counties, and participation is mandatory, which means you are required to contribute 9% of your salary toward your retirement while you are employed in PERS-covered service. Additionally, your employer contributes 15.75% to the plan so that, once you retire, you will receive monthly benefits for life. Furthermore, the money you contribute is tax-deferred until you begin receiving retirement benefits or unless you refund, which you may only do if you terminate employment from all PERS-covered employers. You cannot receive loans, partial refunds, or hardship withdrawals of your contributions.
As a new member, your first step toward retirement is to become vested, which happens when you have worked the required number of years of service as a contributing member. Being vested entitles you and your beneficiaries to certain benefits when you reach a specified age or years of service. If you became a member of PERS on or after July 1, 2011, you are in PERS Retirement Tier 4 and must work eight years to vest.
You remain a member of PERS as long as you leave your funds in your member account. Your membership can only be terminated by refunding or upon your death.
Your Benefits with PERS
Defined Benefit Plans
PERS is a defined benefit plan, which is a plan designed based on strength in numbers, automatic participation, and pooled risk so that members may receive a benefit for life at retirement.
While you and your employer contribute to PERS on your behalf, your benefit is not based on these contributions. Instead, your benefit is based upon a formula that factors your years of service credit and your average compensation.* The contributions plus investment earnings on those contributions constitute the trust from which benefits are paid. These investments are handled by professional investment managers hired by the PERS Board of Trustees.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
PERS provides disability and survivor coverage to help give you peace of mind about the well-being of you and your loved ones should you become permanently disabled or die before retirement. Details on each of these benefit plans and eligibility requirements are provided in the PERS Member Handbook, PERS Disability Retirement Guide, and PERS Survivor Retirement Guide (all found online).
Guarding Your Assets
PERS is administered by its 10-member Board of Trustees, which includes the state treasurer, one gubernatorial appointee, and eight trustees elected by members like you. The Board, in conjunction with its consulting actuary, monitors System funding to ensure the plan remains financially sound.
Keeping You Informed
Along with providing a statement about your account status every fall, PERS provides newsletters, annual reports, educational opportunities, and a team of dedicated and trained staff to answer your questions or provide you with information should you need to contact PERS. You may also request that PERS come to your area to present an Early Career/New Employee seminar. To request this seminar, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit: www.pers.ms.gov
Your Benefits with MDC
The best time to begin saving for the future is now, using the three-legged-stool approach to retirement planning. Your defined benefit with PERS will provide one important leg of retirement security. In addition, a strong retirement strategy includes Social Security and personal savings. This three-legged-stool approach provides a strong and stable foundation for a more secure retirement.
Small Investments Can Make a Difference
Regardless of whether you are a couple of decades or just a few years from retirement, you should consider enrolling in Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan & Trust (MDC) because small investments now could result in large rewards later.
MDC is a voluntary supplemental tax-deferred retirement savings plan offered through PERS to all state employees, elected officials, employees of participating political subdivisions, and independent contractors of the state or participating political subdivisions. It is a convenient and valuable way to supplement retirement income regardless of your age and salary and no matter how investment-savvy you may be. Plus, plan participation offers two tax advantages:
Your current income taxes are reduced immediately because you defer part of your compensation.
Any interest and/or earnings also accumulate on a tax-deferred basis until paid.
If you enroll in MDC, the actual amount you will have at retirement will be determined by (1) how much you invest, (2) when you begin investing, and (3) the performance of your investments. For example, a biweekly contribution of $25 ($650 a year) that earns an annual compounded return of 7 percent, will produce the following:
After five years: $3,872
After 10 years: $9,304
After 20 years: $27,605
After 30 years: $63,607
The Authority will provide a 50% match to any contribution made by full-time employees to the Mississippi Deferred Compensation Program. This match made by the Authority shall not exceed $100.00 per month per employee.
BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION