September 15, 2020
At this year’s VSEA Annual Meeting, VSEA members participating were greeted by State Treasurer Beth Pearce, and she cautioned state employees to begin preparing (again) for a renewed attack soon on state employees’ defined benefit pension plan. Actually, Vermont’s own pension Chicken Little, David Coates, has never stopped his now decade-long campaign to convince lawmakers to implement a 401K plan for new hires to state government. Mind you, the last time VSEA checked, a majority of exempt state employees (read: not VSEA members), when given a choice, chose a defined benefit pension plan.
Pearce did stress that she is unsure right now what action(s) state employees could be asked to make to shore up the pension fund, but she warned it could include a call for employees to increase your contribution. Pearce promised to keep us informed, and she vowed to continue to fight alongside VSEA members to protect your pension.
Here’s a May 2012 quote from Pearce about that year’s pension fight that still resonates today:
“The state is a large employer, as are schools. And those people in retirement are going to need reliable and adequate income to buy goods and services. Those services they buy … are an economic driver for the state and important for the long-term prosperity of Vermont.”