AARP Asks Legislature for One-Time Supplement | State and region

AARP West Virginia joined other organizations on Tuesday in urging members of the West Virginia Legislative Assembly to consider a one-time supplement to provide needed financial assistance to the state’s retirees.

The groups, including the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees, are urging lawmakers to consider tapping the state’s $1.3 billion surplus to provide a one-time supplement to some state retirees living with fixed incomes that fight inflation and rising household and utility costs. .

“A modest, one-time additional payment of $1,500 from our state’s unprecedented surplus would provide significant relief to many of our retirees and their families living on fixed incomes, especially as they continue to recover from the health and financial impacts of the pandemic. Jane Marks, AARP West Virginia State Chair, told members of the West Virginia Legislature Joint Standing Committee on Pensions and Retirement during a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill. of State.

In 2018, the state’s population over 50 made up 41% of West Virginia’s population, AARP said in a press release, but contributed 44% — or $37 billion — of the the state’s total gross domestic product, supporting 426,000 jobs and generating $22 billion in wages and salaries.

Danny Gray, a 31-year-old retired educator from Greenbrier County, told lawmakers he’s seen the purchasing power of his pension dwindle in the 21 years since he left the workforce. “In all these years since I retired, I’ve never gotten a cost-of-living adjustment or any raise, so the household budget gets a little tighter every year. year.”