Education associations are not happy about the final-hour agreement made by the General Assembly over the weekend that requires teachers and local employees to contribute to the Virginia Retirement System.

But the plan’s supporters say the pension system is underfunded by 24 billion dollars, reform is long overdue, and no one should feel like the late compromise was a backroom deal.

The bill that now heads to the Governor requires local and school employees to contribute five percent of their pay to the state retirement system.  It also requires localities and school boards to give employees a raise that offsets those contributions.  School boards are allowed to phase in the five percent contribution over five years. The bill combines provisions from both chambers and the Governor applauds the compromise, including the commitment to increase state funds:

Lawmakers also agreed to refrain from deferring state VRS payments.  Educators say they’ve already suffered small or no pay raises and tougher mandates—and now must absorb forced pension contributions.

-by Tommie McNeil

 

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