Vermont pension reform taskforce seeks common ground

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont lawmakers, teachers, state employees, and economists this summer are crunching the numbers to try to put the state’s retirement system on a solid fiscal footing.

Lower rates of return and demographic challenges have left the state’s public sector pension funds with a $3 billion shortfall. A task force is examining whether to raise revenue or make cuts, or a combination of the two. Speaking at one of the first in-person meetings in Montpelier since the state of emergency was lifted, lawmakers Friday urged everyone to work together.

“We are here as 13 people. We aren’t here, in my opinion, as legislators VSEAs, NEA, troopers, and administrators. We are here as 13 people presenting our best ideas forward in how we save this system,” said Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham County.

After a backlash from unions, lawmakers last year shelved a plan that would have cut benefits and made employees pay more into the system.

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