Legislative Retirement System Frequently Asked Questions
Are Legislators members of the Public Employees' Retirement System?
Legislators without prior Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) service are enrolled as members of the Legislators' Retirement System (LRS). The LRS is administered at the request of the Legislature by the Public Employees' Retirement Board.
Legislators currently active in PERS may take a leave of absence from their public employment to serve in the Nevada Legislature. The employee may remain a contributing member of PERS if retirement contributions are paid, by the Legislator, to the System. A public employee who elects to remain in PERS in a without pay status does not accrue any service credit for retirement under the LRS.
What amount do Legislators pay in contributions?
Legislators pay 15% of their gross compensation as a legislator to the LRS. The Legislature, as the employer, pays contributions based upon the required actuarial cost to fund the LRS.
What happens to the money paid to the LRS?
All contributions are deposited in the Legislators' Retirement Fund. These funds are invested and the total is used to pay benefits.
When does service credit for a Legislator begin and end?
Service for a legislator who takes office on or after July 1, 1975, begins on the day after his election or appointment and ends on the day of his successor's election (sooner if terminated due to death, resignation, or removal from office).
Can Legislators include PERS service with LRS service?
No. If a legislator has service in both LRS and PERS, the service credit cannot be combined. Upon retirement, separate benefit calculations will determine the LRS benefit and the PERS benefit.
What are the eligibility requirements for retirement?
If a legislator is newly elected after July 1, 1985, they must have at least 10 years of service, be age 60, and no longer be a legislator in order to retire without benefit reduction. If a legislator is no longer serving, has at least 10 years of service but is under the age of 60, they can elect to wait to receive their benefit until the age of 60 or begin receiving a reduced benefit prior to the age of 60. The minimum requirement for an unreduced benefit for a legislator elected prior to July 1, 1985, is 8 years of accredited service at age 60.
How are benefits determined if a Legislator retires from the LRS?
For all legislators retiring on or after July 1, 1975, the monthly retirement allowance is $25 for each year of service up to 30 years of service. Fractions of a year will be included in this computation. For instance, a legislator at age 60, with 8 years of service (election prior to July 1, 1985) could receive a maximum of $200 per month (8 x $25) or as another example, $750 per month with 30 years of service (30 x $25).
If a Legislator retires from the LRS can they provide coverage for a beneficiary to take effect upon their death?
Yes. When a legislator retires they may choose from two forms of optional coverage. One option provides a legislator with an actuarially reduced benefit for their lifetime and the same allowance continuing upon their death to their beneficiary. The other provides them with an actuarially reduced benefit for their lifetime, and 50% of the same allowance continuing upon their death to their beneficiary. If the legislator elects coverage for a beneficiary as described, but the beneficiary predeceases the legislator, the benefit will be adjusted to the full monthly allowance, to be effective on the first day of the month following the beneficiary's death.
If a Legislator dies while an active member of the LRS, what survivor benefits are available?
If a legislator has 2 years of service within the last 2-1/2 years, survivor benefits are available to dependent children and a surviving spouse. Dependent children will each receive $400 per month through their 18th birthday and can continue to receive benefits through the age of 23 as long as they remain full-time students. In addition, a surviving spouse will receive $450 per month. The surviving spouse of a vested member is eligible to receive a computed benefit that continues for the spouse's lifetime.
Are refunds of contributions available to LRS members, and what are the eligibility requirements for refunds?
Legislators are eligible to withdraw personal contributions if they are no longer accruing service in the LRS and have completed a request for a refund. Legislators are not required to take a refund of personal contributions even if they are eligible for a refund. Refunds of contributions cancel all membership rights and service credit in the LRS.
If this information has not answered a question on the LRS, please contact the Retirement System at the address or telephone below, and counselors will be happy to research a specific area.
Public Employees' Retirement System
693 W. Nye Lane
Carson City, Nevada 89703
TOLL FREE at 1-866-473-7768