Va.'s Retirement System May Need Larger Share of Taxpayer Dollars | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Va.'s Retirement System May Need Larger Share of Taxpayer Dollars

Play associated audio

The VRS is the 22nd largest public or private pension fund in the U.S., and its diversified portfolio recently earned a return of 18.5 percent. Yet the fund is aging and is now paying out more than it's taking in.

Investment earnings fund two-thirds of the benefits, but Chief Investment Officer Charles Grant said long term gains will be volatile due to macroeconomics.

"We've had massive government policies to try to kickstart this economy. And the problem is the debt load. The problem is we still have too much debt, and we're still de-leveraging," says Grant. "And there's only so much the government can do to fix that."

Employer/employee contributions fund about one-third of the benefits. But while most states give an average of 3.8 percent of their budgets for pension contributions, Virginia's only contributes 1.6 percent of its total budget. VRS officials suggest that Virginia's trend of funding contribution rates below recommended levels will need to be reversed.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher. That's almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former Homeland Security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.