West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III has vetoed $24.5 million in state funding to help subsidize a shift of assets from the states Teachers Defined Contribution Plan to the West Virginia Teachers Retirement System.
But in a March 21 statement, Mr. Manchin said he would call a special legislative session to provide the funding if 75% of the 19,000 TDC participants approve the transfer by May 15, as required by provisions of a recently approved state law.
Under the new law, the transfer can go forward if at least 65% of the TDC participants approve of the shift. Also under the law, state funds would be provided to subsidize the pensions of TDC participants only if at least 75% of the TDC participants approve the shift, said Anne Werum Lambright, executive director of the states Consolidated Public Retirement Board, Charleston, in an interview.
Ms. Lambright said she agreed with the governors analysis because there wont be a need for the money unless at least 75% of TDC participants approve the merger.
The governor and state legislators have been working on a way to encourage a migration to the DB plan since the state Supreme Court in January blocked a long-pending effort to merge the plans.
The $908 million Teachers Defined Contribution Plan, which has been closed to new employees since July 1, 2005, and the $3.6 billion teachers Retirement Plan, both in Charleston, were originally scheduled to merge July 1, 2006.