HAMLIN – The Tri-River Transit Authority board of directors has made West Virginia Retirement Plus a supplemental retirement option for its employees, State Treasurer John Perdue announced.
The public transportation system -- serving Lincoln, Logan, Boone and Mingo counties – last year served 87,000 passengers, using buses and mini vans.
Tri-River is celebrating its 15th year of existence, said executive director Paula Smith, who is enthusiastic about the board’s adoption of West Virginia Retirement Plus.
“It sounds like a really good program,” Smith said. “What we’re looking for is someone to manage it for us. It’s not our normal territory.”
Treasurer Perdue’s office oversees West Virginia Retirement Plus. “We’re thrilled to have a transit system offering the plan to its employees,” he said. “The broader our roster of service providers the better.”
Assistant Treasurer Josh Stowers applauded the board making the plan available to Tri-River employees.
“As a resident of Lincoln County, I am well aware of the crucial need that Tri-River serves in Lincoln and the surrounding counties,” Stowers said. “I commend the organization’s board for voting to make West Virginia Retirement Plus a supplemental retirement option. It can rest assured that it chose a quality plan with a broad range of investments and a proven track record of growth.”
Sweetening the deal for Tri-River employees is a three percent matching program. Tri-River will match three percent of an employee’s contributions.
West Virginia Retirement Plus is the state’s officially sanctioned 457 supplemental retirement plan, operating under the oversight of Treasurer Perdue. Such 457 plans are named for a section of IRS code that enables public employees to set aside tax-deferred savings which earn interest. The plans are similar to 401-k plans in the private sector.
West Virginia Retirement Plus has been adopted by the great majority of West Virginia’s county commissions. In all, nearly 250 cities, counties and other entities have joined. It is endorsed by the West Virginia Municipal League.
The plan presently claims $179 million in assets; 15,660 total participants; and more than 14,000 new enrollees from July of 2006, when Treasurer Perdue took oversight of the plan.