State workers object pension plan

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-03 00:27:59-04

RICHMOND, Va  (WTVR)- The promise of a good retirement package is what lured Marcia Templeton into leaving her job in the private sector for state work.  However, Templeton is rethinking that decision. “If we’re not going to get raises and they’re going to slice benefits, that’s putting a heavy burden on a state worker,” says Templeton.

Templeton believes the General Assembly hastily passed legislation to reform the state’s retirement system. It would make people like Templeton continue contributing up to five percent of their salary, reduce benefits for some employees and turn the system into more of a hybrid plan, with a mix of pension and 401(k) like contributions.

“These people voted on a plan they had not read,” says Virginia Education Association President, Kitty Boitnott. Boitnott tells CBS 6, lawmakers are making the wrong decision and taking money from Virginia’s teachers will only result in a race to the bottom for the state’s education system. “I just have a feeling that there are going to be a lot of people heading for the doors in the next year or the year after that,” says Boitnott.

Public workers are asking the governor to re-think his plans to reform the retirement system. However, Secretary of Finance, Ric Brown says the money has to come from somewhere and such a move is necessary. “If you don’t keep the system up, you can’t guarantee the benefits at the end of the day. Something has to give,” says Brown.

Governor McDonnell will make a decision about reforming the system on April 18th.