February 17, 2021
The VSEA Board of Trustees reconvened Tuesday night to continue discussing how best to protect VSEA members’ pensions and talk about next steps.
The Board was unable to reach consensus on whether or not employees should contribute more to the fund, but the body was able to agree on the following positions, with respect to any debate about state employee pensions moving forward:
1) Slow down the process.
2) Request lawmakers convene a summer study committee to examine the impact of the Treasurer’s recommendations on state employees and to allow time for thoughtful application of any federal relief monies or new revenue streams.
3) Advocate at State House for ANY available one-time monies, whether in the form of federal relief, settlement money captured through AG’s office, or any other random funds.
4) Demand lawmakers and State officials identify a dedicated revenue source to the pension fund. It could have a sunset if needed. A bill, S. 59, currently being floated by Senator Hooker would accomplish this goal by creating a temporary income tax surcharge on incomes of $500,000 or more until the unfunded liability is paid off.
5) Explore the “California Rule” further. The rule is the state’s guarantee that public workers are entitled to the retirement benefits in effect when they start their jobs. Courts have ruled that a public employer who changes the terms of a pension must, in turn, provide a benefit of equal value.
The discussion about VSEA members’ pensions and VSEA’s official position is ongoing and will continue when the Board meets again on March 1.
Questions About This Page?