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General Plan


The General Plan includes Basic and Coordinated members, and effective Jan. 1, 2015, former members of the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund (MERF). Established in 1931, PERA’s original, often called Basic, retirement plan was not coordinated with Social Security. The Basic Plan qualified as an alternative to Social Security and its members did not contribute toward it. The Basic Plan was closed to new membership in 1968, leading to the creation of the coordinated portion of the plan, which provides PERA pension benefits in addition to those supplied by Social Security. Today, there are nearly 150,000 public employees actively working as Coordinated Plan members, along with 90,000 retirees. There are six active remaining Basic Plan members.


General Plan Handbook

Common to Top Three Plans


Membership in PERA is automatic for non-elected public employees who meet minimum salary and position eligibility requirements set by Minnesota statute. Membership is optional for qualifying non-governing elected officials.  Elected governing body officials (Ex: city council members, county commissioners) whose first term in office begins after June 30, 2002, may not participate in the Coordinated Plan. They may, however, participate in PERA’s Defined Contribution Plan.


You and your employer contribute to PERA. Contributions are set in state law. See your plan handbook for the amount you contribute along with your employer contribution.


Personal Information

Be sure to keep your personal information current. MY PERA makes it simple and fast to update your personal information, change addresses, or view your benefits. If you don’t have a MY PERA account, register online today. Or, you can update your personal information by completing the Change form.

Leaves of Absence

You may also purchase service credit based upon your salary for various types of leaves if you meet the requirements. For more information, see Building Service Credit With PERA or your plan’s handbook.