Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)
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Plan History and Purpose

Sixty years ago, the 1947 Session of the Nevada Legislature passed the Nevada Retirement Act. This Act created the Nevada Public Employees' System and was signed into law on March 27, 1947, by Governor Vail Pittman.
 
The PERS is a tax-qualified defined benefit plan created by the Legislature as an independent public agency to provide a reasonable base income to qualified employees who have been employed by a public employer and whose earning capacity has been removed or has been substantially reduced by age or disability. It was also created to make government employment attractive to qualified employees and to encourage them to remain in government service for such periods of time as to give employers and the people of the state the full benefit of the training and experience gained by the employees while employed in public service.
 
PERS is the primary vehicle for providing retirement income to classified employees of NSHE.
 

How You Participate

You participate in the plan under either the Employer Pay Contribution Plan or the Employee/Employer Contribution Plan, at your discretion.
 
Employer Pay Contribution Plan (EPC)
Under this plan, the employer pays the total PERS contribution on your behalf. These contributions are not deposited to your individual member account and are not available for refund upon termination of employment.
 
Employee/Employer Contribution Plan
You and NSHE share equally in the contribution to PERS. Your after tax contribution is refundable upon the termination of your employment, if you do not elect to receive a monthly retirement benefit. You can find current contribution rates at www.nvpers.org. If you are unsure of which plan you are contributing under, contact your employer or PERS.
 
Regular members earn service credit based on years, months and days actually worked. If you have five years of creditable service, you may purchase up to five years of additional service credit. You must pay the full actuarial cost associated with your age and average compensation at the time of the purchase. The cost to purchase one year of service averages about one-third of your annual salary. Payment may be made in a lump sum or by installment agreement.
 
Purchase of service may also be accomplished using certain types of retirement savings accounts
such as 401(a), 401(k) qualified pension trusts, 403(b) and 457 retirement savings plans and IRAs.
 
If you contribute under the employee/employer contribution plan, you may withdraw your employee contributions if you terminate all employment for which a contribution is required or if you are employed in a position ineligible for membership for at least 90 days. A refund cancels all rights to membership including service credit earned under the EPC plan.
 
If you received a refund of employee contributions and later return to work and reestablish active membership for a period of at least six months, you may repay the refunded contributions and restore service credit. Repayment, including interest at the actuarially determined rate, may be made in a lump sum or by monthly installments. Service will not be restored until your agreement is paid in full.
 

When You are Eligible to Receive Your Retirement Benefits

 
Service Retirement for Participants hired before January 1, 2010
Vesting
If you are a contributing member of PERS after June 30, 1989, you earn the right to receive a retirement allowance after five years of service.
 
Eligibility for Unreduced Benefits
Years of Service Age
5 Years 65
10 Years 60
30 Years Any Age
 
Early Retirement Reduction
In the event you earn the years of service necessary to receive a retirement benefit but have not reached the age required for an unreduced benefit, you may retire at any age with your benefit reduced by 4% for each full year you retire early.
 
Disability Retirement
If you have five or more years of service and become totally unable to perform your current or any comparable job because of an injury or mental or physical illness of a permanent nature, you are eligible to apply for disability retirement. Your application must be filed with PERS prior to your termination of employment.
 
Service Retirement for Participants hired after January 1, 2010
Vesting
If you are a contributing member of PERS after June 30, 1989, you earn the right to receive a retirement allowance after five years of service.
 
Eligibility for Unreduced Benefits
Years of Service Age
5 Years 65
10 Years 62
30 Years Any Age
 
Early Retirement Reduction
In the event you earn the years of service necessary to receive a retirement benefit but have not reached the age required for an unreduced benefit, you may retire at any age with your benefit reduced by 6% for each full year you retire early.
 
Disability Retirement
If you have five or more years of service and become totally unable to perform your current or any comparable job because of an injury or mental or physical illness of a permanent nature, you are eligible to apply for disability retirement. Your application must be filed with PERS prior to your termination of employment.
 

How Your Benefits Are Paid to You

Benefits are paid to you for life and, after your death, to the one person named as your beneficiary on the retirement application. It is not mandatory to name a beneficiary. Prospective retirees may elect one of seven retirement options:
  • Option 1 – The Unmodified Allowance – This option pays you the full monthly allowance you have earned for your lifetime with no beneficiary payment upon your death.
  • Option 2 – This option pays an actuarially reduced benefit for your lifetime. After your death, the same benefit continues for the lifetime of your beneficiary.
  • Option 3 – This option pays an actuarially reduced benefit for your lifetime. After your death, 50% of the benefit continues for the lifetime of your beneficiary.
  • Options 4 and 5 – These options are calculated the same as options 2 and 3 but are not payable to a beneficiary before the age of 60.
  • Options 6 and 7 – These options allow you to designate a specific amount to be paid to the beneficiary.
The reduction from the Unmodified Allowance is determined by an actuarial percentage based on your age and your beneficiary’s age at the time of retirement. After retirement, the named beneficiary cannot be changed. If you chose any of the Options 2-7, you may under certain conditions, choose to revert to the Unmodified Option. Additionally, if your beneficiary predeceases you, the law provides that your benefit will revert to the Unmodified Option.
 
For more information about your benefits under PERS, visit the PERS web site at http://www.nvpers.org/