PERS Contribution Rate Spikes

Dana Bilyeu runs Nevada’s retirement system for public employees, and struck me as one of the most competent state senior executives in Carson City. Explaining today’s decision to cut certain government workers’ take-home pay by more than 1%:

the number of public employees in Nevada has dropped by 10 percent since the beginning of the recession and the remaining employees’ salaries have declined, while the number of retirees has increased.

The rapid change in our government workforce is blamed for PERS providing more than $100-million more in benefits last fiscal year than it took in from taxpayers and employees. The loss ate up about one-third of one percent of PERS assets.

The rate increase will restore that loss, and more. PERS assets are expected to increase, and the percent-funded to advance to 71.2%. Social Security, by comparison, is zero percent funded. PERS remains one of the few reliable retirement systems in America.

All teachers, state employees and local government workers outside Clark and Washoe pay half their PERS contribution out of their paychecks, and will directly feel the new bite. Here in Clark County (and Washoe), taxpayers pay 100% of the contribution, with no paycheck deduction.

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