Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration

You have an important decision to make

As a new member of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), you have 12- month election window to decide between two retirement plans. If you are a new member with the university system, you have three choices.

We encourage you to learn about your retirement plan options and make an educated decision on which plan is right for you. For more information, join us for a PERS new member webinar, or visit our education video library for a recorded version.

For more detailed information regarding each plan:

Defined Benefit Plan (DBRP) - Every new member begins in the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan.  Your contributions will default to the DBRP until you make an election. This plan is considered a traditional retirement plan.  Your retirement benefit is calculated by formula set by statute and is composed of your highest average compensation, factor percentage based on membership service, service credit and age. If you do not make an active plan choice during your election window, you will default into this plan.

Defined Contribution Plan (DCRP) – The Defined Contribution Retirement Plan allows you to be in control of how your contributions are invested by choosing from the investment options available. Investment options range from conservative to aggressive including a target date fund. Montana- based retirement plan counselors are available at all times to assist you. Your benefit at retirement will depend on the size of your individual account balance. Your account balance is influenced by time invested and performance in the market.

Montana University System Retirement Plan (MUS-RP) -This is a defined contribution plan available to university employees only.  

See the differences between these plans here.

Your retirement plan election is irrevocable. If you do not file a retirement plan election by the end of your 12- month election window, your plan choice will default to the PERS Defined Benefit Retirement Plan.

Make Your Plan Choice Election

When you are ready to choose your retirement plan, you can file your election with MPERA by:

  1. Completing your election online using DocuSign (recommended), or 
  2. Completing and returning the paper copy mailed to you from MPERA, or
  3. Downloading an election form from the website and mail it back to MPERA, or
  4. Logging into your online account and make your election.

Once you submit your election to MPERA, you cannot change your choice.  Be sure you are confident in your decision!