PERS premium to increase again in coming biennium

The retirement premium paid by state workers and other non-police/fire public employees will increase again this coming biennium.

Actuaries recommended and the Public Employees Retirement Board approved a 2.25 percent increase to a total of 28 percent of salary effective July 1.

The vote at Wednesday’s meeting was unanimous.

PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss said that amount will be split 50-50 between the employee and employer. So, unless the governor finds a way to give state workers a small raise, it effectively reduces take home pay for state employees by 1.15 percent.

She said there were a number of factors that made the increase necessary including what they refer to as “mortality.” That is a reference to the fact that state retirees are simply living longer, therefore collecting their retirement for a longer period than in the past.

The state’s share of the 2.25 percent increase will cost state government about $10 million a year. But the increase also applies to the rest of the 88,700 regular employees in public service with governments throughout Nevada.

There are also about 11,300 public employees in the police/fire category who pay a much different rate for their pension benefits. Leiss said their rate will remain at 40.5 percent total for the coming two years.

Despite that increase she said PERS had a great year in its investment portfolio, growing the total amount of assets by a whopping 17.6 percent to $33.6 billion. She said that reduces the plan’s unfunded liability from $12.9 to $12.5 billion.


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