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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library


Public Employees Retirement Association

Also known as:
PERA
Authority:
Function:

Provides retirement, survivor, and disability benefits for public employees of county and local government in Minnesota.

Active dates:1931-
History:

In 1931 the state legislature decided that a large retirement association would be able to operate more economically and efficiently than the smaller versions that currently existed, so on April 24, 1931 they established the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota, which officially began operations a few months later on July 1.

At the end of its first fiscal year in 1932, PERA had 2,103 members and just over $110,000 in the bank. Through the years those numbers grew steadily. Even during the depression, PERA's assets increased when other retirement associations showed deficits.

In 1959 police officers and firefighters not affiliated with local retirement associations became members of PERA's newly formed Police and Fire Fund.

In 1968 a change was made to the Public Employees Retirement Fund. The benefits for new hires were coordinated with Social Security (the "Coordinated Plan") while benefits for existing members were not (the "Basic Plan").

In 1987, PERA established the Police and Fire Consolidation Fund, which began to incorporate the members of local police and fire associations from around the state. In 1999 the forty-four local relief associations that made up the Consolidation Fund transferred members and necessary assets to the larger Police and Fire Fund, and the Consolidation Fund was terminated.

Also in 1999, the Public Employees Local Government Correctional Service Retirement Fund was established to cover employees in county correctional institutions who have direct contact with inmates. Prior to 1999, those employees were covered under the benefits of the Coordinated Plan.

Thanks to the creation of these funds, and the introduction of the Defined Contribution Plan in 1987 for elected officials, physicians, and volunteer ambulance personnel, PERA grew even larger. Today, just seventy-nine years after a small group started PERA to deliver much needed benefits to uncovered public employees, the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota handles the retirement needs for over 2,100 participating governmental units, more than 71,000 retirees and beneficiaries, and more than 200,000 active and/or vested members with assets of about $18 billion dollars.
(Information taken from the PERA Website, 9/16/2010).

Membership:

9 trustees and state auditor (6 trustees appointed by governor, including 1 representing school boards, 1 representing cities, 1 representing counties, 1 who is a member of the police and fire fund, 1 who is a retired annuitant, and 1 who is a public member knowledgeable in pension matters; the membership of the association elects 3 trustees); members file with Ethical Practices Board.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated: 07/09/2018
 

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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