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Commonwealth's Counties

VRS Provides Updates Concerning Investment Returns, Plan Handbooks, Health Insurance Credit Benefits, and More!

As part of their Quarterly Newsletter, the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) confirmed achieving a 27.5% return, net of fees, on its investment portfolio for fiscal year 2021. The trust fund thus ended the year with approximately $101.8 billion, exceeding the $100 billion mark for the first time in its history. As previously reported, this is good news for local government employers as the success of VRS investment returns has a direct impact on employer contributions rates into the retirement system plans.

VRS also released updated member handbooks to reflect the latest legislative and administrative changes. The Hybrid Retirement Plan Handbook for Members  also underwent a redesign. As a best practice, VRS recommends checking the date on the back cover of printed or downloaded handbooks to ensure you have the most recent version. All handbooks are available in the Publications section of the VRS website.

Lastly, as a result of legislation from the 2020 General Assembly session, non-teacher school division retirees are now eligible to receive the health insurance credit, a tax-free benefit that assists with health insurance premiums paid for single coverage, excluding any portion of the premiums covering a spouse or dependents. As previously reported, current and future retirees with at least 15 years of VRS service credit will receive a monthly credit of $1.50 per year of service, or $2.50 if the employer elects an additional $1 enhancement. To receive the credit, eligible employees must provide supporting documentation if VRS is not deducting their health insurance premiums or if they have additional premiums to report. The health insurance credit is included with their retirement benefit payment and ends upon the employee’s death.

The full VRS newsletter may be accessed here and additional VRS newsletters may be accessed here.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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