Study group: 3-year freeze on Miss. retirees' COLA

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A commission is recommending a three-year freeze on the 3 percent cost-of-living adjustments paid to Mississippi government retirees.

It is also asking lawmakers to consider a long-term change in the pension rules for new hires of state and local government. The group suggests adding a defined-contribution component to the Mississippi Public Employee Retirement System. New employees would either manage part of their own investments for retirement or hire someone to manage the investments for them.

The suggestions are part of a report released Wednesday by a commission appointed by Republican Gov. Haley Barbour. He asked members to find ways to strengthen the finances of PERS.

Any changes to PERS would have to be made by new legislators who take office in early January.