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 Virginia State Pension Update (VRS)

                       Virginia will start automatically enrolling its state employees into a supplemental defined contribution plan for all workers hired after January 1, 2008. Brian Goodman, Legal Affairs and Compliance Coordinator for the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), said the passage of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) cleared the plan sponsor of liability from automatically enrolling employees into DC plans, making the state's decision in March to adopt the measure a relatively easy one that saw little or no dispute in the General Assembly. Virginia state employees will have $20 each pay period deferred from their paychecks, with a state contribution of $10. However, no decision has been reached on default investment options.

The Virginia Retirement System, citing robust results from investments in private equity and real estate, said its return on investment for the fiscal year ended June 30 surpassed what it earned in fiscal 2005.  The Richmond-based pension fund reported a 12.4 percent return for the year, slightly exceeding its 12 percent return a year earlier and its internal benchmark.  However, the retirement system cautioned in a presentation to the General Assembly's Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission last month that it expected more subdued results in coming years.  It said in the presentation that it had lowered its assumed annual return on investment to 7.5 percent from the 8 percent it had been using.

STATE PENSION THREAT LEVELS

LAST UPDATED: April 24, 2007

This report is produced by the AFL-CIO Office of Investment

(202) 637-3900 & dpedrott@aflcio.org