PERS proposing measures to get the fund closer to being fully funded

Jul 2, 2018

New PERS Executive Director Scott Miller testifies before the Legislature's interim Employee Benefits Programs Committee.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An interim Legislative committee is looking at three bill drafts designed to bring the Public Employees Retirement System back to being fully funded.

It’s been a multi-year fix for the system.

The bills would increase both employee and employer contributions, would temporarily reduce the “retirement multiplier” from 2 percent to 1.75 percent for new hires until the fund is at 100 percent funding, and would reallocate the 1.14 percent employer contribution to the retiree health insurance credit fund to the general pool of funds.

"I think full funding is the place we want to be," said PERS Executive Director Scott Miller. "Whatever it takes to get there, it's important to the state and the state's employees that we get back on tract to full funding."

Miller came to North Dakota after managing the retirement plan for the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

"Different systems have taken different approaches," Miller said. "Certainly, the three options PERS has put forward have been explored elsewhere around the country.  And they have worked out."

Miller said you can't get back on the path of full funding without reducing benefits or increasing the income.

"These three provide different variations of that," Miller said.

The Employee Benefits Programs Committee will meet later to finalize the bill drafts it will recommend for the 2019 session.

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