McCoy discusses PERS

Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi Board of Trustees member Randy McCoy spoke to the Clay County Retired Education Personnel of Mississippi, at its monthly meeting, Tuesday. (Photo by Donna Summerall, DTL)
Staff Writer

Those working for the state of Mississippi have a vested interest in PERS, as that is where their income after retirement, that is not Social Security, will be coming from. 

Randy McCoy, one of 10 members of the PERS Board of Trustees, spoke to the Clay County Retired Education Personnel of Mississippi Tuesday, about retirement. 

"Once I took the position on the PERS Board," McCoy said. "I became a fiduciary. I am supposed to do what is good for the system. I work for PERS to make sure those who pay into this system, receive what their money when they retire." 

According to McCoy, the average paid out of the system to retirees is $23,000 per year. 

"All together, we pay out more than $2 billion," McCoy said. "We have retirees in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries. I assume that the ones oversees worked here and returned home."

There are 68 retirees over the age of 100. They have been retired for 35 years or more and are still reaping retirement pay at an average of $17,072 per year, McCoy said. 

"The average years in retirement is 20 years," McCoy said. "Once a year we look on the retirement table. The average age to retire is 61, average years of service is 14.6. But this is not all teachers. This is custodial personnel, bus drivers, people who leave employment they've had for years and start working for the state. The average age of coming into PERS is 36."

More than 50 percent of the money paid in is invested. Stocks, bonds, and other types of investments are made. 

"Years ago we only thought about the U.S. economy," McCoy said. "Now it is a global economy when it comes to investing. My job is to make sure retirees and those working, receive their money." 

McCoy said the number of retirees is growing due to the last of the baby boomers coming into retirement age. 

"Then there will be less people people paying in," McCoy said. "But it will balance out because I will die, you will die. There will be less people paying in and less people drawing retirement. It will all balance out." 

In five years the number of those entering into retirement will slow, in 10 years even less people will be retirement age. 

"I don't see the state of Mississippi closing down," McCoy said. "Or schools closing or never needing those who work in the educational system. PERS is in a good position."