State employees sound off on VRS increase

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - State employees are sounding off this evening, after Governor Bob McDonnell proposes a plan to increase the amount workers pay toward their own retirement in the Virginia Retirement System.

Quite a firestorm is brewing outside the walls of the State Capitol, after Governor Bob McDonnell unveils a plan to have most state employees pay an extra one percent into the retirement system, starting this summer.

"I thought that asking our state employees to pay 1% phased in over two years was not an unreasonable request," said Gov. McDonnell.

Too shy to talk on camera -- state workers didn't hold back their opinions on our Facebook page.

Jess Burgess said, "The problem with the VRS (I am a state employee) is that there is no guarantee it will still be in tact when it is time for me to retire."

Carolyn Wright Frey agrees, saying, "They've taken so much money out of it, it's way under funded, my concern is it won't be there in 16 years."

Kelley Marry said, "This is a pretty good deal. If it means you get a retirement fund. So, buy a few less Starbucks drinks a week and there is your 1%."

We talked to a Marty Shields. He's a financial advisor with Heritage Wealth Advisors. He says what is happening in Virginia is happening with governments all over.

While many in the private sector can choose how much money to put toward a retirement fund, if you're part of the VRS, you don't have a choice. You must pay what you're told to contribute.

"With the reduction in tax revenue and with the stock market, they need to find a way to fill this gap so they are looking to their employees to pay more for these services," said Marty.

Of course, the General Assembly has the final say in this plan. That is expected to unfold in the next two months.

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