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Virginia Lawmaker Proposes Reform for Retirement System


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates says he'll ask the General Assembly in January to create a commission to study the state's retirement system.

Speaker William J. Howell says he wants a fresh look at the Virginia Retirement System, already the focus of reforms twice in the past five years. Howell told the Richmond Times-Dispatch those previous adjustments were "good first steps."

Specifically, the Stafford Republican says he's concerned about the size of the state's unfunded liability for state employee and teacher pensions. They are estimated at almost $21 billion.

He says the state also faces a major turnover in its aging workforce.

Howell has advocated a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan. The state adopted a hybrid approach in 2012.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.