Fairfax County Considers Cutting Back Employee Pensions

Heather Curtis
WMAL.com

WASHINGTON (WMAL) – Fairfax County employees can retire at 55 and get a Social Security supplement to tide them over until they’re old enough to get federal social security, but that could be changing.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal that includes increasing the retirement age to 60 and getting rid of the Social Security supplement.

“It is almost an unheard of benefit today,” Herrity said of the supplement.

Herrity would like to see what he believes is an overly-generous pension plan get scaled back. He said the pension costs compete with the county’s ability to provide services to residents and leave the county unable to afford to offer competitive salaries to new employees. Herrity also thinks the plan encourages employees to retire at 55 so they can get the supplement.

When Herrity talks to constituents he says they’re shocked that the county pays Social Security supplements to employees who retire at 55.

“They don’t believe we should be doing it because many of them are working well past retirement to pay the 25 percent [property] tax increase we put on them in the last five years, largely to fund these pensions,” Herrity said.

A public hearing will be held on the proposal Nov. 20 at 4:30. Herrity expects the board to vote on the changes Dec. 4.

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