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.