Thursday, the Vermont Senate voted unanimously to advance to the House S286, pension reform bill, which:
- Makes no changes to the benefits of current retirees and beneficiaries.
- allocates $200 million in one-time funds toward unfunded pension liabilities and commits the state to ongoing additional payments.
- Phases in higher employee contribution rates for active members and modifies the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) formula for all employee groups.
The bill would reduce but not eliminate the large pension fund deficit that has accrued in recent decades. Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint issued the following statement regarding the vote:
“Since we began our work to shore up our pension system, I have been clear that teachers and public employees had to be partners in finding the long-term solution. And that’s just what happened,” Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint said. “We protected the defined benefit plans that are so important to public employees and to us. We agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars.”