PERS provides retirement, disability and death benefits to the State of Montana, the university system, local governments and certain school district employees.
PERS covers two retirement plans: The Defined Benefit Retirement Plan and The Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.
If you are a new member of PERS, your contributions are automatically deposited into the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan (DBRP). You then have 12 months, from the time you are first reported to MPERA through payroll, to choose to remain in the DBRP or transfer to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP). You cannot be in both the Defined Benefit and the Defined Contribution Retirement Plans.
If you have been employed in a PERS-covered position for more than 1 year and are unsure which retirement plan you are a member of, there is an easy way to tell:
DBRP - Every July, you receive an annual statement from MPERA. Remember, in the DBRP you do not manage a retirement account.
DCRP - If you are receiving quarterly statements from Great-West Retirement Services (not for a 457(b) deferred compensation plan), you are enrolled in the DCRP. In the DCRP, you are responsible for managing your individual account and how your contributions are allocated among the available investment options.
MUS-RP - If you are a Montana University System employee and are receiving retirement information from TIAA-CREF, you are enrolled in the Montana Univeristy System - Retirement Program (MUS-RP). You are not a member of PERS.
If you have additional questions or are still unsure, please contact MPERA.