On Jan 19, GFCA sent a letter to Supervisor Foust and School Board Member Jane Strauss expressing concerns about the current state and direction of our county pension plans. This followed a unanimous decision by the GFCA Executive Board to affirm that the current pension system trajectory is unsustainable, that taking no action will lead to serious consequences, and that corrective action is needed starting now - in the Fiscal Year 2018 county/school budgets.
GFCA believes that serious steps must be taken in some combination of specific steps to:
- remedy the historical underfunding of pension plans
- bring pension benefits in line with 'market'
- bring pension costs down for county and taxpayers
- control pension abuse by retirees
- control expensive contract costs of hiring retirees because their replacements were not properly skilled or trained
GFCA is concerned that delaying action to future years will only make the outcome worse for all - including employees, retirees, and taxpayers. Unaddressed, pensions will put increasing pressure on county finances and eventually risk our bond ratings or require large tax increases.
GFCA's position was the result a recommendation by GFCA's Long Range Planning committee, which is working to understand Fairfax County and School budgets and challenges. The recommendation was the result of reviewing past budgets and trends, identifying issues such as Pensions, and reviewing public information available - such as from other county civic organizations and newsmedia coverage. On Pensions, LRP also reviewed relevant information shared publicly by staff to the County Budget Task Force.
The full text of the Pension letter can be found here