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Governor McDonnell wants state employees to make pension contributions
By Kyle Maichle
RICHMOND, Virginia: Governor Bob McDonnell has proposed a plan that would require state employees to contribute to their pensions. The proposed plan in Virginia continues a growing trend of Governors nationwide asking state workers to contribute more to their benefits in order to stem budget problems.
McDonnell's proposal calls for all state workers to contribute five percent to their pensions. The last time pension contributions were mandated for state workers was in 1983. Since then, the Commonwealth has picked up the pension contribution in lieu of a pay raise as part of a long-standing agreement. The Governor will ask both houses of the Virginia General Assembly to approve a 3 percent pay increase in order to minimize the pain. Virginia state employees have had their pay frozen for the last four years. Also, the Governor will not ask state employees to take any furlough days in 2011.
The pension proposal is part of a overall proposal the Governor submitted to the financial committees in the General Assembly on December 17, 2010. The changes will affect most state employees and up to 130,000 teachers.