Roanoke, Virginia, Ensures a Financially Sustainable Retirement Plan

Source: Ann Shawver, Government Finance Review, Vol. 30 no. 6, December 2014

The City of Roanoke, Virginia, revised its retirement benefits for future employees, giving them a choice between two new plans. The project — a smooth and successful process that involved stakeholders from beginning to end — had the full support of the seven-member city council. Although these benefit modifications are not drastic, the changes are expected to ultimately lower the city’s long-term contribution rate by 10 percentage points, to 15 percent of wages. In today’s dollars, that amounts to approximately $6 million. The main reasons for the project’s success are stakeholder involvement, good timing, and transparency. ….