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.

NPR

Do Touch The Artwork At Prado's Exhibit For The Blind

The renowned Spanish museum has made 3-D copies of some of its most iconic works to allow blind people to feel them.
NPR

Game For Ancient Grain: Palestinians Find Freekeh Again

The young, roasted form of wheat has been eaten in the Middle East for millennia. But over time many Palestinians replaced it with rice. Now it's becoming a nutritious, native food worthy of pride.
NPR

Just How Big Is The Asia Trade Deal Obama Wants? It's A Beast

The 12 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership account for almost 36 percent of world's economy, which would make TPP by far the largest U.S. trade pact.
WAMU 88.5

New Transit App, Split, Pushes User To Share The Backseat

A new entrant into the growing world of on-demand transportation apps in the District uses sustainability as its pitch — with users sharing the ride with others going the same direction.

Leave a Comment

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