Letter: Broken pension promise is not the Vermont way

Link: https://www.reformer.com/opinion/letters/letter-broken-pension-promise-is-not-the-vermont-way/article_dd4a1b82-961b-11eb-933c-53c098d6616a.html


Editor of the Reformer: As we all know, the state pension problem has been festering for years now. Governors, legislators, state treasurers and Pension Investment Committee members have come and gone without a suitable resolution. Kicking the can down the road, mostly driven by politics and simple indifference. Both the state employees and Vermont tax payer deserve a permanent solution to this problem now.

Thanks to the state treasurer who strongly flagged the problem again with some specific recommendations.


At this point we know what the governor does not want, but what is his version of the solution? The governor has watched this for nearly six years. I would hope he would have been investigating and drafting a set of solutions from his perspective. The governor has at his call a strong financial leadership team and executive staff who are well positioned to develop an informed detailed solution. It is time he shares his solution with the legislature, his state employees and all Vermonters.

Author(s): Bob Zeliff

Publication Date: 11 April 2021

Publication Site: Brattleboro Reformer

Look Ahead, Vermont: Pensions, Act 250 reform, and what’s in a name?

Link: https://www.reformer.com/look_ahead_vermont/look-ahead-vermont-pensions-act-250-reform-and-whats-in-a-name/article_5e64cade-9ae3-11eb-906e-3f0b80878609.html


The high drama might be over for a while, but pension reform remains a high priority in the Legislature.

This week, the House Government Operations Committee is considering a new draft proposal to expand the membership of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC) and establish a task force to study possible solutions to the state’s thorny unfunded pension liability problem.

This is the other shoe from House leadership’s decision two weeks ago, under pressure from state employee unions, to focus on governance now and study the solutions to unfunded liability over the summer. The unions had widely panned the initial proposal for reform as forcing them to work longer, pay more, and get less.

That liability is estimated at $5.6 billion, with about $3 billion in pension benefits and another $2.6 billion in health and other benefits for retirees.

As a committee draft proposal, it doesn’t have a bill name. That makes finding it on the relevant committee page a little more challenging. In this case, if you go to the documents tab on the Government Operations page there’s a “pensions” folder. Click on that, and on “bills,” and there you will find “21-0967 — An act relating to the membership and duties of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee and the creation of the Pension Design and Funding Task Force.”

Author(s): Greg Sukiennik

Publication Date: 11 April 2021

Publication Site: Brattleboro Reformer