**PERS 13th Check Status – Refund Date, Requirements, and Additional Information**
The PERS 13th Check is an annual 3% cost of living increase given to current public sector employees and Mississippi retirees at the end of the year. This payment is funded entirely by employer contributions. The Mississippi Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) leaders will request funding from the Legislature in 2024, although the exact amount they will ask for is unclear at this time.
The Legislature does not typically directly fund PERS. Instead, governmental organizations contribute 17.4% of each employee’s salary, while employees themselves contribute 9% of their salaries. The PERS board has the authority to raise the employer contribution rate, but it is up to the Legislature and local governmental entities to find the funds to cover the increase.
If you are an ex-employee of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), you may be eligible to request a refund of your member contributions and interest. However, if you request a refund and later return to work at UMMC or another Mississippi state agency, you will have to start over with your vesting. It is important to note that you will only receive your own contributions to PERS, not the employer contribution, when you request a refund. PERS will release your refund within 90 calendar days of receiving your final pay and contributions.
To request a refund, you must fill out a PERS form 5, available on the official PERS website. Complete sections 1 to 4 on the form, and section 5 will be completed by UMMC. You can submit the form by email, fax, or mail to the UMMC Human Resources Service Center.
The funding status of the PERS 13th Check is currently uncertain. According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Mississippi pension plan would need an additional $1.4 billion to prevent its unfunded liabilities from increasing. The funding ratio is currently 60%, but it should ideally be 80% or higher. The request for the 13th Check funding increase will depend on the availability of funds in the Legislature, which had over $3 billion in reserves before the 2024 session.
The amount of the 13th Check payment is not a fixed amount but rather a percentage of your June pension payment. In the current year, the payment will be approximately 24.107% of your pension income. The percentage is calculated based on the employer’s contribution and all June pension payments to eligible individuals. However, the payment amount is decreasing over time due to the growing number of retired government employees and a decrease in the number of people working in the public sector.
To be eligible for the 13th Payment, you must have received IMRF pension payments for the last 12 months continuously. If you retired on or before June 30, you are eligible for the 13th Payment in the following year. For example, if you retire before June 30, 2024, you will be eligible for the 13th check in July 2024.
For complete details about your 13th Check, you can access your member account on the PERS website. Sign in and click on “My Account” in the dropdown menu, then select “Payment History” to view your monthly and yearly IMRF pension payments.
In conclusion, the PERS 13th Check is an important benefit for public sector employees and retirees in Mississippi. It is funded by employer contributions and provides a cost of living increase. The refund process for ex-employees involves completing a PERS form and submitting it to UMMC. The exact funding and payment details for the 13th Check may vary, so it is important to stay informed through your member account on the PERS website.