By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia House and Senate Finance Committee members received a bit of good news Monday, two days before the start of the 2018 legislative session: Thanks to strong investment earnings and more employees in a new benefits tier, the state’s contribution to public employees and teachers’ pension funds will drop by $32.8 million next budget year.
Jeffrey Fleck, executive director of the state Consolidated Public Retirement Fund, told members of the interim Joint Committee on Finance, that the employer pension contributions will drop from 11 percent to 10 percent of employee salary.
Additionally, Fleck said, a 2015 law that moved new hires into a new pension tier with a 6 percent employee contribution, instead of 4.5 percent, will reduce the state’s share of pension costs by $9.35 million, with about 6,000 employees — or about 17 percent of the total workforce — already in the new tier.
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