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Day of reckoning ahead for PERS

Upgrades in retirement benefits granted to Mississippi’s public sector workers a decade ago could get rolled back as the state, its cities, counties and school districts struggle to stay financially afloat.

Citing an “unsustainable” burden on Mississippi taxpayers inching toward $1 billion annually, Gov. Haley Barbour wants a close look taken at altering the retirement benefits awarded current and future public employees in the state.

To that end, he has created a study commission to determine options open to the state, its counties, cities and school districts that cover about 248,000 employees in the Public Employment Retirement System of Mississippi, or PERS.

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