Thirteen new enrollees result of recent meetings; tour wraps up
A series of retirement planning sessions hosted by State Treasurer John Perdue in Upshur County resulted more than a dozen new enrollments in the state’s West Virginia Retirement Plus supplemental retirement program. Informational sessions this week produced 13 new enrollees into Treasurer Perdue’s deferred compensation plan. Helping Buckhannon sanitary worker Bryan Samples (center) enroll in West Virginia Retirement Plus are Empower Retirement’s Bob Aman (left) and State Treasurer John Perdue.
The Retirement Plus program, with $232.1 million of assets and 17,561 accounts, provides a supplemental retirement savings vehicle for both state and local public employees. Treasurer Perdue’s office took custody of the program in 2006 and has multiplied both assets and accounts since. The most recent numbers are as of March 31.
“This program serves a real need for state, county and city workers,” said Treasurer Perdue. “I believe the Retirement Plus is an important piece to an employee’s overall financial planning strategy, and I’m happy people in Buckhannon are taking advantage of it.”
Of 80 full-time city employees, Buckhannon now has 49 enrolled in West Virginia Retirement Plus. In addition to the 13 new enrollees, two city employees increased their contributions during the string of seminars tailored to each city department.
“Anything that enhances our employees in their post-work life of being able to live more comfortably, we certainly endorse that,” said Buckhannon Mayor David McCauley. “Anything that supplements what you’re otherwise going to get through the state retirement system is huge. You can never have enough in retirement.”
Amberle Jenkins is the city’s finance director. She says this year’s federal tax reform bill came in handy for both those already enrolled or deciding whether to enroll in West Virginia Retirement Plus.
“They just figured out how much more they would get in their checks and dedicated that directly to their retirement accounts,” she said. “They weren’t accustomed to having it anyway.”
Jenkins gives the plan high marks for its ease of use. She said the city used to attempt to buy federal savings bonds as a retirement supplement, but dealing with the federal government entailed a lot of red tape.
“From what I can tell our employees are happy with it as a supplemental plan. We don’t have anyone dropping out of it unless they leave,” said Jenkins.
She said it is easy and automated to send an enrollee’s pay to West Virginia Retirement Plus, where it is invested in large mutual funds of the employee’s choosing. “It only takes me five minutes to process that report.”
McCauley, who has served as mayor for two years, previously worked 30 years as the city attorney. He is also a professor at West Virginia Wesleyan.
“I was the town attorney for 30 years and I’m thankful for the state retirement check I get each month,” he said. “But 10, 20, 30 years from now, if I live that long, that amount isn’t going to increase. As I said, I’m in favor of anything that gives you the opportunity to draw what you otherwise might not.”
For more information about West Virginia Retirement Plus, go to www.wv457.com or call 1-800-422-7498.
In addition to the stop in Buckhannon this week, Treasurer Perdue hosted educational financial wellness activities for middle school students in central and north central West Virginia; presented two elementary school students with SMART529 college savings awards; met with two constituent groups regarding WVABLE, a new investment program for people with disabilities; and made appearances at the office’s annual Cash Handling Conference at Stonewall Jackson Resort.