When you’re talking about state budgets, pensions are a big deal. West Virginia spent more than 10 percent of last year’s budget on its pension plans, including $490 million for teachers’ and state employees’ plans.
My story on today’s front page explains how the state’s largest pension plans work. It’s pretty easy math that leads to some big bucks for certain retired employees. Olen Jones, former Marshall University provost and president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, draws $169,674 a year in his pension plan.
My story only focuses on the state’s open pension plans, but reader Leska Foster of South Charleston asked about a now-closed program, the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Plan. I wrote a short blog post about how that plan, which now contains less than 5,000 enrollees, works.
You also can click here to see a list of all state pensioners who receive $80,000 or more in yearly benefits.
In other news…
- West Virginia lawmakers will soon head to North Dakotato study that state’s Legacy Fund, a trust fund set up about two years ago to capture oil tax money and save it for the future. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, hopes to set up a similar fund in West Virginia. North Dakota provides a good road map for that, but legislators also should take note of some of their missteps.
- State Sen. Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell, isn’t ruling out the possibility he might switch parties to run against Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., in 2014.
- Daily Mail city/county reporter Matt Murphy has this story about a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new section of Corridor H.
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