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Amendment Will Have Adverse Impact on GERS

Dear Source:
(This is an open letter to Governor Turnbull and the 26th Legislature)
Members of the 26th Legislature please table the proposed amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to Bill number 26-0200 if and when this is presented to the body by the Administration. The proposed changes will have an adverse impact on the Government Employees Retirement System. The system is presently has an unfunded liability of approximately 1.3 billion dollars and growing daily. To allow a small group of individuals these changes will negatively impact the system. Without a study to support these changes how can this bill be even entertained? If there was a study done why not reveal it to the public prior to the hearing?
I understand that only the GERS Reform Task Force and the GERS Board of Trustees "…worked out the differences in the original bill as submitted" from a cover letter from the Governor to the President of the Legislature on July, 19, 2006. Why was this measure even considered given the dire conditions of the system? This proposed amendment increases the cap on the calculations for retirement benefits from $65,000 to $ 85,000. Removes the election of 2 retirees to the GERS Board of Trustees. Establish a new program of retirement to the members of the VI Legislature with eligibility starting at age 50. The Annuity ranges from 50% of Salary to a whopping 140% of Salary from 20 years of service to 28 years of service.
I hope that you take in consideration all of the members of the Retirement System, the economy of the VI and future members of the system before making such changes in a lame duck session.
Jason Budsan
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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