VA Lawmaker Proposes Pension Change

January 20, 2011 ( – A Virginia lawmaker is proposing a switch to a defined contribution plan for state employees.

Republican delegate Chris Jones’ plan would place employees hired after January 1, 2012, into a 401(k)-style plan. The Virginian-Pilot reports that workers would pay 5% of their salaries into a retirement account, and the government would provide a 2.5% match.  

Existing employees would remain in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) , a defined benefit program. However, under Jones’ proposal, the pension system would be phased out after all eligible employees withdrew their retirement benefits, according to the news report.  

Governor Bob McDonnell recently proposed that state workers pay into the VRS to help with unfunded liabilities of $17.6 billion (see VA Government Workers Asked to Pay Into State Plan).