The Consolidated Retirement Board of West Virginia (CRB) administers retirement benefits to nearly all public employees in the state. The CRB maintains a defined benefit plan for teachers (TRS) that was closed to new members from January 1, 1991, until it re-opened in 2005. The CRB also maintains a defined benefit plan for state and local government employees (PERS), a judges defined benefit plan, and defined benefit plans for state and local public safety personnel. Assets are managed by the state Investment Management Board.
§5-10D-1 establishes the Consolidated Retirement Board.
The Consolidated Public Retirement Board is continued to administer all public retirement plans in this state. It shall administer the Public Employees Retirement System established in article ten of this chapter; the Teachers Retirement System established in article seven-a, chapter eighteen of this code; the Teachers' Defined Contribution Retirement System created by article seven-b of said chapter; the West Virginia State Police Death, Disability and Retirement Fund created by article two, chapter fifteen of this code; the West Virginia State Police Retirement System created by article two-a of said chapter; the Deputy Sheriff Death, Disability and Retirement Fund created by article fourteen-d, chapter seven of this code; the Judges' Retirement System created under article nine, chapter fifty-one of this code; the Emergency Medical Services Retirement System established in article five-v, chapter sixteen of this code; and the Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System established in article twenty-two-a, chapter eight of this code.
§5-10-3 creates the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System
The West Virginia public employees retirement system is hereby created and established to provide for the orderly retirements of employees, of the state and the other participating public employers, who become superannuated because of age or total and permanent disability, and to provide certain survivor benefits.
Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2015, employer contributions to West Virginia state and local government pension plans were 6.40 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.
No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts protect against impairment of contracts. Dadisman v. Moore, 384 S.E.2d 816 (1988)(holding that the protection of public pension rights is a constitutional and moral obligation of the state); but see Myers v. West Virginia Consol. Public Retirement Bd., 704 S.E.2d 738,226 W.Va. 738 (W.Va. 2010)(after pension benefits are vested, the Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from reducing benefits but prospective modifications are permissible). (WV CONST., Article 3, §4) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits