WV Teacher Challenges DC to DB Switch

April 12, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A West Virginia teacher has filed a lawsuit to stop the merger of the state's current Teachers' Defined Contribution Plan with the Teachers' Retirement System.

A West Virginia news channel reports that teachers voted several months ago to force everyone to return to the old defined benefit retirement system. Anthony Barberio says the majority voted that way because there would be less risk on the part of the employee with a DB plan.

By July 1, the state will take approximately 20,700 accounts, representing about $645 million, from the DC plan and transfer them into the old one, according to the news report. Barberio argues that leaves no choice for teachers, and forces them to pay extra for switching back to the old system since the merger would force some teachers to pay the difference in employee contributions between the plans dating back more than a decade.

Barberio’s attorney says he has received more than 500 calls from people supporting the lawsuit.

The West Virginia House of Representatives Finance Committee approved the measure closing the state’s defined contribution program for teachers and reopening the long-closed Teachers’ Retirement System last March (See Proposal for West Virginia DC to DB Conversion Passes House Panel ).