Fairfax board adopts two proposed pension changes

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Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that the board did not vote to eliminate the provision that automatically increases the retirement annuity by 3% annually.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today approved some of four proposed changes to the county’s retirement system. It voted to abolish the pre-Social Security supplement employees receive until the age of 67, effective for new employees hired after July 1, 2019 and also voted to eliminate the provision that automatically increases the retirement annuity by 3% annually.

It declined to adopt other proposed changes.

“While I believe the Board missed an opportunity to develop an overall compensation plan that would provide a mix of salary, pensions, and benefits that would attract the best employees and teachers, this change is meaningful and I supported the change,” said Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who has been pushing for a more thorough reform of the pension program for years.

The pre-Social Security provision allows county employees to retire as early as age 55 with a full pension benefit while also received a supplemental payment that equals the Social Security payment they would have received if they were 67.

Other changes proposed by Herrity but rejected by the board today include:

  • Increasing the Minimum Retirement Age from 55 to 60
  • Increasing the Rule of 85 to the Rule of 90 – age plus years of service will need to be 90 for full retirement for general county employees
  • Increasing the Salary Averaging Period from 3 years to 5 years

“This is not just about my concern over the fiscal sustainability of the County’s pension plans,” Herrity said. “Pension costs compete with our ability to provide quality services to our residents and to pay competitive salaries to hire the best and brightest teachers and employees.”

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.