Lining Pockets With Legislative Pensions (9/25/12)
Several first-time candidates for the Kentucky legislature say they think the legislative pension system should be overhauled. They propose to eliminate the current defined-benefit system with a defined contribution system more in line with what the average citizen has available.
That's certainly better than the overly generous plan currently in place. But why do we provide our legislators with pensions in the first place?
With rare exceptions, being a state senator or representative isn't a full-time job. Or at least, it shouldn't be.
The Kentucky legislature meets for sixty days in even numbered years and only thirty days in odd-numbered years. That's it. And although they no doubt spend a significant amount of time outside the sessions meeting constituents and studying issues, that still leaves most of them plenty of time to pursue independent careers -- many of them quite lucrative.
They should be providing for their retirement through those jobs – not asking us to throw more money into the pot.
Our tax dollars could be put to much better uses than subsidizing the golden years of people who are already well-situated. No one is forcing these people to serve in the legislature. And if the salary itself isn't good enough for the limited amount of work they do, they're free to make way for others who are more concerned about the public good than individual gain.
Call and tell us what you think.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.