More than 78% of the approximately 19,000 employees in the $908 million West Virginia Teachers Defined Contribution Plan elected to move their retirement savings into the $3.6 billion Teachers Retirement Plan, a defined benefit plan, confirmed Matt Turner, press secretary to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III.
Under a state law adopted early this year, DC plan participants were given the option of switching over to the DB plan if 65% of DC plan participants elected to switch. Mr. Manchin has said that if at least 75% of the employees elected to shift, he would convene a special legislative session to provide up to $24.5 million in state funding to help subsidize the move. Mr. Turner said Mr. Manchin is going to honor that commitment.
Concerned that many DC plan participants lack adequate retirement savings, West Virginia state officials have been working for several years to allow participants to move their assets into the DB plan. A class-action lawsuit filed March 12 in Marshall County Circuit Court, Moundsville, alleges that AIG VALIC agents misled many state educational system employees into quitting the DB plan in the early 1990s to invest their retirement savings in a fixed annuity option in the then newly launched DC plan.