Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who pays for your pension and do you even still have one?

   West Virginia: beautiful country side, nice place to go hunting, rich in coal, people still with homes obligated with their property tax to pay for the pensions of public employees.  Unsustainable!  Time to revamp this generous pension fund for public employees who in some states only need work no more than 20 years to be guaranteed a paycheck for the remainder of their life. 

In the session that ended Saturday (March 10), lawmakers approved legislation proposed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin pledging $30 million a year in personal income tax collections to help reduce the gap between what the state promised to pay its retired employees for health care and what it set aside to meet those obligations. West Virginia’s retiree health care debt, which had reached $10 billion, was one of the highest per capita burdens in the country. 
Tomblin says the health care obligation was the last big debt confronting West Virginia, jeopardizing the strength of the state’s finances. “We’ve struggled for the last three or four years to find a solution,” he told Stateline. “Now, as far as I know, we’re the first in the country to address it.”

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