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PERS rules in favor of retirees running for legislature

The Public Employees Retirement System Board (PERS) has voted to allow retirees to serve in the state legislature while keeping their retirement benefits. Attorney General Jim Hood issued an opinion on November 29 confirming that retired state employees should keep their pension while serving in the Mississippi Legislature. In Mississippi, an Attorney General opinion is the law of the land until a court of law rules differently. With PERS’ ruling, staff will now develop a rule to ensure it is in accordance with Hood’s opinion.

At the time, Hood said every person deserves the right to stand for elected office.

“PERS voted to draft a new rule allowing state retirees who serve in the legislature to do so without giving up their pension,” said Hood in a statement on Twitter. “This will be in place by January 2020. We need the knowledge and experience of our state retirees in the Mississippi Legislature!”

Democrat Representative David Baria, an advocate for the official rule change encouraged teachers and other state employees to consider running for office.

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