Pension Public Messaging

VSEA Messaging: Protecting Retirement Security

Pensions support an effective state government and help grow Vermont’s economy

  • Pensions attract the best and the brightest to state service and keep them working for the state longer, gaining valuable experience and institutional knowledge; and
  • 78% of retired state employees are Vermont residents, spending their pension dollars at the local diner, general store, hair salon or barber shop.

It is unfair to indirectly tax state employees, while holding wealthy Vermonters harmless

  • It has been 30 years since the wealthiest Vermonters have been asked to pay higher tax rates to help their state in its hour of need.  (Gov. Snelling R-VT, 1991);
  • Wealthy Vermonters have recently experienced massive income growth;
  • Wealthy Vermonters disproportionately benefited from the Trump Tax Cut; and
  • The average state employee’s pension averages just $20,000.

State employees’ secure retirement reduces their need to utilize costly government programs

  • When state employees retire with a secure pension, they do not qualify for income subsidies like 3 squares, LIHEAP heating assistance or larger property tax adjustments.
  • 62% of the pension funding is return on our investments  and not taxpayer funds, pensions take money from Wall Street and spend it on Main Street in Vermont

State employees commit their lives to provide critical services to their fellow Vermonters. Vermont’s politicians should hold up their end of the bargain. 

  • State employees plan their retirement based on the commitment made to them when they began their state service. Changing the rules mid-stream is unfair and wrong.