RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It is something state employees are keenly aware of, especially right now. A pension used to be part of the package for everyone who worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now, because of budget cuts, state workers are required to contribute to their retirement.
So why did Governor McDonnell say this to CNBC? "We're one of only four states in the country that the state employees pay nothing (toward their pension), we pay the employee and employer share."
According to the reporters at Politifact Virginia, not only is McDonnell's claim untrue, it is so wrong that the governor's pants are on fire. Yes at one time, Virginia was one of only four states that paid both ends of the state employee pension plan. But last year the General Assembly created a new policy that requires new state employees to contribute to their pensions.
This year, the governor-- facing a budget crisis-- convinced the legislature to require all state employees to contribute 5% of their salary to their retirement. He offset the cost, with a one year, 5% bonus.
But according to Politifact Virginia reporter Warren Fiske, no matter how you look at it McDonnell's claim that state employees don't contribute to their pensions is just wrong.
"The Governor's Office says it's a wash, that the state picked up their contribution with a pay raise, but it doesn't work out that is a wash for all employees, some will actually take home less money," Warren said.