speaker howell files bill to create commission on employee retirement security pension reform
Top News

Speaker Howell files bill to create Commission on Employee Retirement Security & Pension Reform

virginia general assemblyVirginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell filed legislation Monday to create the Commission on Employee Retirement Security & Pension Reform.

The commission will study several major aspects of Virginia’s workforce and retirement system, including the financial soundness of all defined benefit retirement plans administered by VRS, the impact of and strategies for addressing anticipated state employee retirements in the next 10 years, and the elements of compensation and benefit packages needed to attract and retain a highly productive state workforce.  The Commission will also study the unfunded liabilities of state and local retirement plans and develop the best strategies for reducing those liabilities.

“Virginia’s pension system faces short and long-term challenges that we can no longer ignore,” said Speaker Howell (R-Stafford) “There are significant unfunded liabilities that need to be addressed.  We have an aging state workforce with a significant wave of retirements on the horizon.  Our current plan is not designed to meet the needs of the next generation of employees.  The Commission on Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform will be tasked with taking a hard look at every aspect of our current system. The Commission will make recommendations to provide our state and local employees with the security they deserve and protect taxpayers for the long term.”

The Commission will be made up of 19 members, including:

  • Speaker of the House of Delegates
  • Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Chairman of the House Finance Committee
  • Three House of Delegates Members, appointed by the Speaker
  • Senate Majority Leader
  • Senate Finance Chair(s)
  • Two Senate Members, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules
  • Four non-legislative citizen members appointed by the Speaker, including one from a list of nominees offered by VML/VACO and one from a list of nominees offered by the VEA
  • Three non-legislative citizen members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, including one from a list of nominees offered jointly by the Sheriff’s Association and the State Police Association
  • Director of the Department of Human Resource Management (Ex Officio)
  • Director of the Virginia Retirement System (Ex Officio)

The purpose of the Commission shall be to study, report and make recommendations on (i) the financial soundness of all defined benefit retirement plans administered by VRS, (ii) attributes of retirement plans needed by current and future state and local employees, (iii) impact of and strategies for addressing anticipated retirements in the next 10 years, (iv) elements of compensation and benefit packages necessary to attract and retain a highly productive state and local government workforce and (v) how to best address Virginia’s unfunded liabilities.

“Whether we like to admit it or not, there are too many serious questions about the structure and long-term security of Virginia’s retirement system to ignore this issue any longer,” said Howell. “Our state employees deserve to know their retirement plan will always be there for them, and it is irresponsible to leave our children and grandchildren stuck paying our bills long after we’re gone.  Kicking the can might be how they do things in Washington, but it is not what we do here in the Commonwealth.”

Howell added, “Now is the time to craft the best path forward and create a plan to address our short and long term needs. It will not be an easy task, but I am committed to ensuring that we make meaningful reforms to secure the future for Virginia’s hard working state employees and protect taxpayers.”

News Desk

Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected] Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.