pensions

Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to allow regional state agencies and other state agencies to buy out of Kentucky’s struggling pension system has passed a legislative panel.

Democrats in Kentucky’s House of Representatives have unveiled two bills to try and address surging pension costs currently being experienced by the state’s regional universities and small agencies like health departments.

The proposals come as Gov. Matt Bevin has been trying to rally support for his own bill and has promised to call a special session for state lawmakers to vote on it.

 


A leader in Kentucky’s House of Representatives says Gov. Matt Bevin’s special legislative session on pensions will have to start on July 19, or else regional universities, health departments and others will have to wait until after a critical deadline to receive relief from a massive increase in their pension costs.

The state’s Democratic former attorney general and a former reporter are dropping a lawsuit they filed against Ohio’s largest public pension fund. But they say they’re just getting started in trying to find answers to questions about all five funds.

With Kentucky’s regional universities and other agencies facing a massive spike in pension costs starting July 1, Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says he won’t call a special legislative session to address the issue until later in July or August.

When Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the pension bill that passed out of the legislature last month, he promised to call lawmakers back to Frankfort to do it all over again in a special legislative session before July 1.

But the timing of the yet-to-be-announced session is complicated, because state universities affected by the measure say they need clarity on whether they will face massive increases in the amount they have to contribute to the pension systems when they start writing their budgets on June 1.

kentucky teacher protest
Ryland Barton

Lawmakers say they've been fielding lots of questions from teachers — including whether their presence at the Capitol has made any difference.

Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill that would allow regional universities and “quasi” state agencies like local health departments, mental health departments and rape crisis centers to exit the state’s pension systems, ultimately increasing the unfunded status of the retirement fund for most state workers.

kentucky state capitol building
Peter Fitzgerald / Wikimedia

There are only four working days left in this year's legislative session, but a lot can happen in a short period of time in the Kentucky General Assembly.

A House Committee has advanced a controversial bill that drew protests from hundreds of Kentucky educators in Frankfort Thursday.

The bill — House Bill 525 — would change the membership of the board of trustees that manages the teacher pension plan. On Wednesday, a teacher advocacy group called on educators to call in sick Thursday and arrive at the Capitol en masse to protest the bill. Hundreds showed up, flooding the bill’s committee hearing with the line wrapping across the lawn.

On the last day that Kentucky lawmakers could file bills, a freshman Republican filed a bill to move future Kentucky teachers into a new pension system.

The legislation is the latest attempt to address the low funding levels of Kentucky’s retirement systems for public workers by altering benefits.

Rep. Scott Lewis, a Republican from Hartford and sponsor of the bill, says the new proposal would still provide teachers with “defined benefit” pensions that guarantee monthly payments upon retirement, but it wouldn’t be as generous as what current teachers get.

Leaders of the Kentucky legislature have formed a new group tasked with reviewing and analyzing the state’s pension systems, which are underfunded and have been the subject of controversial reform attempts in recent years.

New Year, New Problems For The Tri-State

Jan 4, 2019
cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Several Cincinnati City Council members and the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP call for the firing of two Cincinnati Police officers, one black and one white, for using the same racial slur.

A little less than 24 hours after Gov. Matt Bevin summoned lawmakers to Frankfort to make changes to the state’s pension systems, the legislature voted to end the special session.

After Gov. Matt Bevin called a surprise legislative session on Monday afternoon, state lawmakers traveled to Frankfort and began working on a new attempt to overhaul the state’s pension systems.

Ryland Barton / WFPL

In a major blow to Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration and the Republican-led legislature, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has upheld a ruling that struck down changes to the state’s pension system that passed into law earlier this year.

The head of Kentucky’s retirement system for public sector workers says funding continues to be a challenge. 

Pension funds have decreased as retirements rise and payroll contributions fall.  David Eager, executive director of Kentucky Retirement Systems, addressed the Public Pension Oversight Board on Monday. 

He said the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) non-hazardous plan is now less than 13 percent funded, making it the worst-funded of all the state’s pension plans.

After Kentucky lawmakers made changes to pension benefits for state workers earlier this year, some candidates are hoping to ride a wave of anger from teachers and other public workers into the statehouse.

There are at least 51 current and former educators running for seats in the legislature as all 100 districts in the state House of Representatives and half in the state Senate are up for re-election this year.

Joy Gray is a retired teacher from Owensboro who’s running as a Democrat against Republican Rep. Suzanne Miles.

Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments over the state’s new pension law on Thursday, months after teachers and other government workers descended on Frankfort to protest changes to retirement benefits.

matt bevin
Timothy D. Easley / AP

Gov. Matt Bevin has appealed the ruling that struck down changes to the state’s pension systems. The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear the case on Sept 20.

Pages