Teacher Retirement Plans

The Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System has once again set the level of funding that it estimates will be needed to pay into the state pension fund.

Virginia Education Association members say as the General Assembly crunches VRS numbers, it will seek ways to cut costs—and sometimes that’s been on the backs of teachers who’ve already made sacrifices. Bea Moss and other retirees say discussion of teachers paying into a 401k-type plan is unacceptable, especially given stock market downturns.

“We earn low wages for those with our level education. There’s no profit sharing, no stock purchase plan, but we are promised some dignity in retirement. The time has come to stop short changing VRS and to honor the commitment of those who have given their commitment to the students of this Commonwealth,” says Moss.

Some say another key issue is that defined benefit plans are documented to be an important tool to attract and retain a quality public sector workforce —and public employees oppose switching to defined contribution plans.

— Tommie McNeil

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