Virginia State Employee Retirement Benefits


Long Term Disability Insurance

State-facilitated retirement program with Virginia529

All pay plan employees who are members of Virginia Retirement System Plans 1 and 2 are enrolled in long term disability provided by National Insurance Services. After a 90 day elimination period, this benefit will pay two-thirds of an employee’s monthly salary. Coverage for part-time pay plan employees shall be pro-rated based on the budgeted number of workweek hours.

Current Financial Health Of The Virginia Retirement System

The 19th largest pension system in the country, the Virginia Retirement System consists of roughly 732,000 current and former public employees and their beneficiaries. Current members include 148,000 teachers, 111,000 political subdivision employees and 89,000 state employees. For fiscal year 2019, the pension fund reported a 6.7% return, net of fees, and ended the fiscal year at an all-time high of $82.3 billion.

How Does Teacher Retirement Work In Virginia

In Virginia, teachers are a part of the Virginia Retirement System, which includes not only teachers but all state employees. The VRS was founded in 1942.

But unlike most states, new teachers in Virginia do not automatically participate in a defined benefit pension plan. Instead, they are enrolled the Virginia Hybrid Retirement Plan, which combines elements of a traditional defined benefit pension plan and a defined contribution plan. Although it only comprises part of the hybrid plan, the basic structure of Virginia’s teacher DB pension is similar to that of other states. Unlike other retirement funds, a teachers contributions and those made on their behalf by the state or school district do not determine the value of the pension at retirement. Although those contributions are invested in the market, the value of any worker’s pension component plan is not derived from the returns on those investments. Instead, benefits are determined by a formula based on the worker’s years of experience and final salary.

Unless they elected to join the hybrid plan, teachers hired prior to 2014 are enrolled in one of two statewide pension plans: Plan 1 or Plan 2. Teachers hired before 2010 and who vested by the end of 2013 are in the Plan 1 pension fund, unless they elected to join the Hybrid plan after it was created. Teachers hired between 2010 and 2013 are in the Plan 2 pension fund unless they elected to join the Hybrid plan after it was created.

How Does Virginia’s Hybrid Plan Work?

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Types Of Retirement Systems In Virginia

In general, VRS covers full-time permanent, salaried employees. It also covers public college and university faculty and employees, school division employees and employees of VRS-participating political subdivisions. Additionally, some part-time permanent, salaried state employees are members. Your plan depends on your exact position. Beyond that, your age, average final compensation and accrued service credit will determine your benefits in the Virginia Retirement System.

Full-time/salaried employees of participating counties, cities, towns, commissions and authorities of the state

Employees and officers appointed to a deputy, director or counsel position by the state governor, attorney general or lieutenant governor

Joint Legislative Audit And Review Commission

West Virginia (PERS)

The Virginia Retirement System Oversight Act directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to be responsible for continuing oversight of the Virginia Retirement System. JLARC is required to publish periodic status reports and a Legislator’s Guide to the retirement system. In addition, JLARC publishes semi-annual reports which summarize the performance of VRS investments.

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Deferred Compensation Plan Plan Number 300832

The City sponsors the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan with ICMA Retirement Corporation to help employees save for retirement. A 457 plan is a savings plan available to state and local government employees that allows an employee to save through payroll-deducted contributions on a pre-tax basis. This means the contributions are deducted from the paycheck before federal and state taxes are withheld and the amount of taxable income is reduced by the amount of the contribution. Earnings also accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. Taxes are paid on contributions and interest when money is withdrawn.

For those just starting out, payroll-deducted contributions can be as little as $10 per pay period and up to the annual deferral limit for the year. The Internal Revenue Service determines the maximum deferral limit each year.

Log onto the ICMA-RC web site,, to view your account information, information on the funds, and to learn about investing. You will need to use the City Plan Number, 300832, the first time you log onto the website.

To request an Enrollment Kit, email: v or call 703.746.3906.

Online Enrollment directions.

Changing Your Contribution

If you want to change your contribution amount to the new deferral limit, or make any other change to your contribution amount, you will need to complete a . Complete the form with your new contribution amount and send it to:

Pension Administration DivisionBox 42

Catch-Up Options

ICMA-RC Representative and Investor Relations

Understand Your Social Security Benefits

You may want to meet with a Social Security Administration representative to discuss your options for when to take your Social Security Retirement Income.

You may take partial benefits at age 62. The Social Security Administration will pay you an additional 8% per year once you reach your full retirement age if you elect to take your retirement at a later date. You must take it at age 70. For an overview of retirement age effects on benefits, visit the SSA webpage linked here.

You also have the option to file-and-suspend. If you have a spouse who is receiving their full retirement benefit, you may file-and-suspend your benefit and request to take one-half of your spouses full benefit amount. This does not affect the amount of retirement benefit received by your spouse. This will allow you to continue to earn the additional 8% per year until you reach 70. At that time you can file to take your full retirement benefit

The Charlottesville area District Social Security Administration office is located at 1470 Pantops Mountain Place and can be reached by telephone at 1-800-772-1213. You can find booklets online as well as a local office locator at the Social Security Administration homepage. If you havent already done so, you are encouraged to create an account with my Social Security.

  • When you retire, you must sign-up for Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B even if you continue to work at the University.

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    Leave To Volunteer For Community Services And/or At Childrens Schools

    All full-time pay plan employees are granted 8 hours of leave per calendar year to volunteer at schools or to participate in a community service project. Part-time pay plan employees who are scheduled to work 20 hours per week are granted leave on a prorated basis, based on the budgeted number of workweek hours.

    Taxation Of Retirement Benefits

    Virginia Retirement System Update

    Retirement plan contributions are usually made with before-tax dollars, so federal income taxes are deferred until you begin taking withdrawals later on.

    No taxes are due on pretax contributions and earnings until the money is withdrawn, but because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds only after termination of employment or age 59½ . If you withdraw funds before age 59½, they may be subject to an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.

    • At retirement, file a VRS-15 Request For Income Tax Withholding:

    • Your VRS retirement income is subject to federal income tax
    • If you plan to reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia during retirement, your VRS retirement benefit is subject to state income tax

    Contact your tax advisor for additional guidance.

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    Public Employees Retirement System

    The Public Employees Retirement System was established on July 1, 1961 for the purpose of providing retirement benefits for employees of the State and other political subdivisions. PERS has approximately 58,865 active members and approximately 27,568 retirees receiving annuity benefits. PERS is funded by employee and employer contributions. An active member hired for the first time prior to July 1, 2015 contributes 4.5% of his or her gross monthly salary to the plan. Effective July 1, 2022, the employer will contribute 9.0% of the member’s gross monthly salary for a total combined contribution equal to 13.5%. All employee contributions currently remitted are tax deferred. Contributions for members, as a percentage of payroll, are established by statute, and are subject to legislative limitations. The employee and employer contributions are annually reviewed to assure that they result in actuarially sound funding for the plan.


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    2% x Years of Service x FAS = Annual Straight Life Retirement Benefit

    The benefit option you elect is extremely important. Once you receive any benefits under the options you select, you will NOT be allowed to change your benefit option unless you qualify under the provisions of WV Code §5-10-24.

    Social Security income, private sector income, or private sector retirement benefits do not affect PERS regular retirement benefits.

    Uva Retiree Health Benefits Program

    UVA recognizes the importance of healthcare coverage and is committed to providing retirees with access to affordable, comprehensive, medical and prescription drug and dental benefits. As such, we are changing the way we provide retiree healthcare coverage effective January 1, 2022 when you will have multiple insurance plans from which to choose the one that best meets your individual needs.

    Eligibility for health insurance after retirement:

    • You have worked at UVA for at least five consecutive years directly prior to your retirement
    • You are eligible for a monthly annuity from VRS and you start receiving your retirement benefit immediately upon retirement, or participating in the MCRP or ORP programs and meet the age and service requirements for an immediate retirement benefit under the VRS plan that you would have been eligible for on your date of hire had you not elected ORP or MCRP and
    • You were eligible for enrollment in UVAs active employee health plan on your last day as an active state employee OR
    • You were approved for long-term disability through VSDP, MCRP, or ORP and have applied for social security disability.

    How to enroll:

    Plan options and monthly 2021 premium ranges for single coverage:

    • Pre-Medicare Medical Plans through Mercer Marketplace 365+
    • $661 – $1,249 without any federal subsidies
    • Depending on your income, you may have access to federal premium and cost-sharing subsidies which will lower the cost of your plan.
  • Beginning at $0
  • $170-$273
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    Seminars Workshops And Webinars

    Virtual RetirementWorkshops for Employees Retiring in the Next Two Years.

    To view the recorded virtual VRS retirement workshop held on February 16, 2021 please click here. The presentation workbook can be found .

    Webinars, Seminars, and Financial Planning Consultations with ICMA-RC’s team of Certified Financial Planners

    ICMA-RC the record keeper for the City 457 Deferred Compensation Planand the Payroll deduct Roth IRA Plan offers education opportunities on amonthly basis. The webinars are conducted by ICMA-RCs team of CertifiedFinancial Planners.

    Please see the link below for all upcoming webinars.

    Please contact the Pension AdministrationDivision if you have any questions

    Be sure to obtain advance approval from your supervisor if you plan to attend a workshop during your schedule work hours.

    Webinar and Individual consultations for Hybrid Retirement Plan Members

    For reasonable disability accommodation, contact or 703.746.3887, Virginia Relay 711.

    Financial Planning Consultations available with Certified Financial Planner Steve Taylor. Steven Taylor

    About The Virginia Retirement System

    Virginia Tech

    The Virginia Retirement System, an independent state agency based in Richmond, delivers retirement and other benefits to covered Virginia public sector employees through sound financial stewardship and superior customer service. VRS ranks as the 18th largest public or private pension fund in the U.S. and the 41st largest in the world, serving more than 742,000 active and inactive members, retirees and beneficiaries. Members include public school teachers, political subdivision employees , state agency employees, public college and university personnel, state police, Virginia law officers and the judiciary. Approximately 837 employers have elected to participate in VRS.

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    Optional Retirement Program Options

    UVA partners with TIAA and Fidelity Investments to offer a robust retirement plan to save for your future. When you enroll in ORP, you also have short- and long-term disability, and life insurance with The Standard. Set up a consultation with your retirement plan representative or attend a seminar at UVA to learn more.

    Contact TIAA, log in to your account, and more

  • If you enroll in MCRP, you can choose either TIAA or Fidelity Investments. Each provider has resources for UVA employees and representatives to assist you. Set up a consultation or attend a seminar at UVA.

    Contact TIAA, log in to your account, and more

  • Working For Vdot Has Many Advantages

    An average new employee electing family health care coverage has a benefits package with an estimated value of 78 percent of their annual salary. At $40,000 a year, the employee actually receives $71,200 in total compensation, including:

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    Qualifying For The Plop

    Prior service credit or granted service credit counts toward eligibility for unreduced retirement. However, to qualify for a PLOP, you must be working as an active member beyond the date you become eligible for an unreduced retirement benefit. Prior service credit or granted service credit cannot substitute for this active service.

    Supplemental Retirement Plan Board

    Treasury Notes “West Virginia Retirement Plus”

    The Supplemental Retirement Plan has a Pension Board made up of representatives from General Schedule employees, Deputy Sheriffs, Medics, and Fire Marshals as well as City management.

    Appointed by the City Manager
    Kelsea Bonkoski Appointed by the City Manager
    Shari Davidson Appointed by the City Manager Lillian Vagnoni
    Appointed by the City Manager
    Robert Gilmore, Chairman Valarie Wright
    Appointed by the City Manager Vacant

    Board Meeting Schedule

    The Pension Plan Board holds meetings throughout the year in City Hall, 301 King Street, in the room indicated below. Meetings are open to the public. During Due Diligence Meetings, the Board focuses on reviewing investment reports of the pension and disability funds. These meetings may last three hours or longer. Interim meetings may be shorter and often include educational presentations. The Board may consider other issues brought to their attention at any meeting.

    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    May 5, 2021 Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101
    Sister Cities, City Hall Room 1101

    Board Meeting Minutes

    • June 10, 2021 – , see recording here.
    • September 9, 2021 – s, see recording here.

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    Health & Wellness Program

    The Commonwealth of Virginia health benefits program offers the COVA Care and COVA HDHP and COVA Health Aware statewide to full-time and part-time classified employees, early retirees and eligible family members. The plans include: medical, dental, outpatient prescription drugs and an Employee Assistance Program.

    CommonHealth the employee wellness program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since 1986 the Commonwealth of Virginia has offered CommonHealth to promote wellness in the workplace.

    Determine If You Are Eligible

    To plan for retirement, consider at what age you would like to retire and how many years of service you will have by that time.

    Choose a benefit calculator for your plan.

    • In order to receive benefits in a timely manner, start the process well before your retirement date. Use the following timeline:

    • At least 4-6 months before retirement:Contact your vendor for information about forms to complete. These include:
  • Approximately 4 months before retirement:Contact the Benefits Division at UVA Human Resources at to discuss health insurance and other benefits.
  • At least 3 months before retirement:Contact the local Social Security Office to apply for payments – if desired. If you are 65 or older, you and/or your dependent must also apply for Medicare if not already enrolled.
  • The benefits available at retirement include:

    VRS, ORP, or MCRP distributions

    • Social Security and Medicare benefits
    • Health care insurance
    • In many cases, life insurance and distributions from 403 savings plans

    The beginning date for your first required minimum distribution is generally April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which you: reach age 72 , or retire.

    If you defer retirement benefits, you are not eligible to enroll in the Retiree Health Benefits Program.

    Contact your retirement vendor to discuss distribution options.

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    Virginia Retirement System Employer Code 55200

    The City provides retirement and disability retirement benefits under VRS for regular, full-time employees. The VRS web site, forms and publications may refer to other benefits that VRS provides to participating employers. However, the City does not participate in any benefits other than the ones described here.

    Public Pensions In Virginia

    Virginia Tech

    This article does not contain the most recently published data on this subject. If you would like to help our coverage grow, consider donating to Ballotpedia.

    Virginia information
    Total cash and investment holdings: $82,711,198,000
    Number of state and local pension systems: 34
    Actuarial value of assets
    Unfunded actuarial accrued liability
    Annual required contribution
    Rate of return Active member
    Inactive member OPEB
    Hover over the aboveterms for definitions.
    Note: This page utilizes information from a variety of sources. The information presented on this page reflects the most recent data available as of August 2017.

    Virginia public pensions are the state mechanism by which state and many local government employees in Virginia receive retirement benefits.

    According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 34 public pension systems in Virginia as of 2016. Of these, four were state-level programs while the remaining 30 were administered at the local level. As of fiscal year 2016, membership in Virginia’s various pension systems totaled 580,392. Of these, 406,682 were active members.


  • In fiscal year 2016, total contributions of $4.2 billion were made to Virginia’s state and local pension systems. Of this amount, $1.0 billion came from employees.
  • In fiscal year 2016, Virginia’s state and local pension systems made payments totaling $6.1 billion.
  • See the sections below for specific information on pension systems in Virginia:

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