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Human Resources
University of Mississippi


State Retirement

Faculty and staff employed one-half time or more for a minimum of 4 ½ months or one fall or spring semester for nine-month contractual employees must participate in the state retirement plan, Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). The Plan is designed to provide monthly retirement contributions for the life of the employee. Participation is mandatory as a qualified state employee.

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS):

Staff members employed in benefit eligible positions must participate in the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS). Both the employer and employee are required to make contributions to this plan. The employee’s pre-tax contribution is 9.00% of gross wages and the University contribution is 17.40% of the employee’s gross income. PERS is a defined benefits plan which entitles qualified employees to a guaranteed retirement benefit. Information about vesting periods, contribution limits, and plan benefits is available by visiting the PERS website.

Online Calculators:

The PERS website provides three calculators to determine estimates for the following type of needs.  (PERS calculators)

  • Benefit Estimate Calculator:  Are you considering retirement?  This tool provides a participant the opportunity to calculate an estimate of future retirement benefits.  To generate an unaudited estimate, you must provide beneficiary information, average compensation, current service credit, and current unused leave.
  • Tax Calculator: This calculator will assist retirees to determine the federal tax withholding from their PERS benefit.  Information from the IRS Form W-4P will be entered when using this tool.
  • Service Purchase Calculator:  Participants may use this calculator to determine the cost of purchasing additional service credit or repayment of refunded contributions.


Optional Retirement Plan (ORP):

The State permits employees employed as administrators with budgetary authority (defined by the University as EEO1 executive positions or positions with special designation as defined by Human Resources), faculty members, researchers, coaches, or librarians with academic rank the opportunity to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) in lieu of PERS. This is defined contribution plan in which the employee contributes, on a pre-tax basis, 9.00% of gross wages. The employer contribution is 17.40% of the employee’s gross income. The ORP member account will only consist of your contributions and 14.751% of the employer contributions. The employer contribution balance of 2.475% goes to PERS to fund the unfunded accrued liability of PERS and .174% administrative fee as it does for all PERS participants. The participant may invest retirement contributions with the following vendors (AIG Retirement Services, Voya, and TIAA).

Participants must complete enrollment forms with the vendor to establish an account, designate beneficiaries and select investment options. Information about the ORP, selected vendors, and investment information is available on the following website.

ORP Stable Value Letter

Financial consultants are available to assist you in preparing for the future and will provide guidance in selecting investment options that are in line with your retirement plans.

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Retirement Services):
David Stratton (
601-605-3590 (office)
662-607-4593 (mobile)

AIG Website 


Doug Atkinson (
662-533-0924 (office)
662-832-0082 (mobile)

Mark Atkinson (
662-533-0924 (office)
901-430-1425 (mobile)

Voya Website



You can schedule a consultation session with one of the following financial advisors via the online scheduler or by contacting the advisor directly.

Richella Vincent Lee (
800-842-2003 ext. 263570
770-512-3570 (to reach a customer service representative, select ‘0’)

Brad Propst (
800-842-2003 ext. 286922
770-512-3570 (to reach a customer service representative, select ‘0’)

Jared Gilbert (
800-842-2003 ext. 286908
770-512-3570 (to reach a customer service representative, select ‘0’)

TIAA website


Contribution Limits: In accordance with IRS Code Section 415(c)(1)(A), the contribution limit for PERS and ORP is $66,000 for fiscal year 2023-2024.


Retirement Plan Comparison

For new participants, enrollment forms will be completed with Human Resources staff during scheduled consultation and paper completion sessions.

Beneficiary Changes:
Employees may change beneficiary designations at any time. PERS participants must complete the Beneficiary Nomination Form This form must be forwarded to Department of Human Resources for employer certification.

ORP participants must contact AIG Retirement Services (formerly Valic), Voya, or TIAA directly to update beneficiary designations or change investments.


Supplemental Retirement Plans

403(b) – The University offers faculty, staff, student workers, and re-employed retirees an opportunity to invest in a voluntary pre- and/or after-tax (ROTH) supplemental retirement plans.  Investments are from employee contributions only. Annual contribution limits are defined by IRS code.

Effective April 1, 2021, participants may select from two highly reputable retirement vendors, Voya and TIAA, in which to invest.  To learn more about plan features (eligibility, contribution limits, investments options, enrollment instructions, etc.), visit the University’s microsite.

Are you ready to begin making contributions to the 403(b) program or do you need to change your contribution election or vendor?   Establish a new account of update and existing account through planwithease.  If you have misplaced the letter from planwithease that provides your temporary password, you can contact their office at 855-464-6928 to request another copy.

New Fund Offerings  – Effective August 17, 2021, three Fidelity index funds will be added to the 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan platform.  Voya will mail information about the additional investment options to participants by the end of July.  The following is a sample of the communication that will be distributed.

Financial advisors are available to assistant you with the enrollment process and to provide retirement planning consultation.

Doug Atkinson (
662-533-0924 (office)
662-832-0082 (mobile)

Richella Vincent Lee (
800-842-2003 ext. 263570
770-512-3570 (to reach a customer service representative, select ‘0’)


Plan change implementation:  The following information about the April 1, 2021 program change was provided to participants.

Letters mailed in February to the participant’s permanent address on file with the University

Recording from the March 10 and 11 town hall sessions.



457 Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust (MDC) – The University offers faculty and staff an opportunity to invest in this voluntary pre-tax retirement plan administered by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi.  Investments are from employee contributions only. Annual contribution limits are defined by IRS code.  To learn more about plan features (eligibility, contribution limits, investments options), establish a new account, or log into an existing account, visit the Deferred Comp website.

Investment Advisor Representative:
Zach Carey (
662-701-9469 (mobile)

Additional support is also available:


Resources:  The Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan offers financial wellness tools to assist you with financial planning and retirement savings.  The learning center offers education materials and calculators.  Each month, MDC offers live webinars hosted by retirement plan advisors.  These 60 minute sessions include a 30-45 minute presentation as well as time for questions and answers.

Mississippi Deferred Compensation 457(b) Education Live Webinars:

Financial Wellness Live Webinars


MDC Plan Document