Guest Editorial - The Unfunded Retirement System Hole (2/03/12)
Mayor Fischer recently said we are facing a $12 million budget deficit. While this shortfall must be addressed – it is insignificant compared to the $30 billion unfunded liability our state owes to a bloated pension system for current and retired government employees.
Put simply – each of us owes $7,000 for government retirement benefits.
Decades ago, governments paid their employees less than the private sector, so they offered a generous retirement as an incentive for employment.
Today, that is not the case as government salaries have grown and few companies offer a pension.
Timid changes have been made in the past --- but the problem persists.
That is why I am calling for Frankfort to take the following actions:
- Suspend or reduce cost-of-living pension adjustments,
- Place new employees in a defined contribution retirement plan or at least base pensions on the employee's lifetime average pay, and not the highest few years.
- Reduce health insurance costs by moving retirees into consumer-directed plans.
It is time for Frankfort to stop kicking the can down the road in hopes that a future generation will fix the problem.
Please join me in contacting the Governor and State legislators and tell them it's time to stop putting our kids and grandkids deeper into debt and start making the hard decisions that will fix this looming threat.
I'm Jerry Miller and that's my Point of View.