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

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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

Sorry, Sushi Burrito: Japanese Program Certifies Authentic Cuisine

In a world of Big Mac sushi and Cajun rolls, Japan is launching a new program to certify the 89,000 Japanese restaurants outside the country that uphold traditional washoku cuisine values.
NPR

Sorry, Sushi Burrito: Japanese Program Certifies Authentic Cuisine

In a world of Big Mac sushi and Cajun rolls, Japan is launching a new program to certify the 89,000 Japanese restaurants outside the country that uphold traditional washoku cuisine values.
NPR

New Hampshire Celebrates A Century Of Voting First

The wrinkle New Hampshire added to the presidential election was holding a primary very early. Would candidates even countenance the idea of traipsing through the snow? It turned out that they would.
WAMU 88.5

Call To Get All Maryland Students Internet Access Renewed This Year

Should all students in Maryland schools have access to the Internet and other digital resources? One Maryland Senator is taking up the call again this legislative session.

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