McDonnell's Pension Plan Would Negate Va. Government Worker Raises

Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking Virginia government workers to pay into the state's underfunded pension system for the first time in 27 years.

McDonnell said Thursday he wants employees covered by the Virginia Retirement System to contribute 5 percent of their pretax pay starting next year.

That would negate a 3 percent raise proposed for 2011, effectively cutting take-home pay for state workers by 2 percent.

McDonnell's proposal would affect about 87,000 state employees and up to 130,000 local public school teachers.

Pension plans VRS manages face unfunded liabilities totaling $17.6 billion, thanks largely to 2009 investment losses. State government also deferred more than $600 million in VRS contributions this year to help cover a budget shortfall.

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