Kentucky retirees fighting to keep their pensions
They have spent their lives building a retirement, but now thousands of Kentucky retirees are fighting to keep their pensions.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They have spent their lives building a retirement, but now thousands of Kentucky retirees are fighting to keep their pensions.
Right now, thousands of retirees are in danger of losing more than half their pensions. One of them, Charlies Weible, retired in 1999 after more than 40 years behind the wheel of a semi.
"The insurance was good, everything was good, and then all of a sudden, the bottom falls out of everything," he said.
Weible is one of thousands of Kentucky retirees who are part of the Central State Pension Fund now facing painful cuts.
"I paid into that pension for 42 years," he said.
On Tuesday, dozens of retirees took their concerns to the Teamsters Local 89 Union Hall.
"You have tens of thousands of teamsters who are at risk of losing 60 percent or more of their pensions," Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth said.
Congressman Yarmuth was invited to share what's being done in Washington to keep that from happening. He said lawmakers are trying to pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, which would generate $38 billion and keep Kentucky's pension plan from sinking.
"This is something that should be a top priority of government to make good on the promises that were made to these hard workers," Yarmuth said.
With so much at stake, it didn't take long for tempers to flare Tuesday when political parties were mentioned.
"I don't want to hear about Democrats and Republicans," Norb Wafzig said. "I want to hear what you're going to do to help me."
Wafzig is a retired UPS driver and said instead of fighting, lawmakers need to unite and find a solution.
"It is not a partisan blame but right now," Yarmuth responded. "We need a bipartisan fix."
And if the fix doesn't come, some retirees could lose more than just part of their pensions.
"That would devastate me," Wafzig said. "I'd be living with my daughter."
And Weible said he would be in the same boat.
"I'd probably have to move from where I live, because I couldn't afford to live there," he said.
Yarmuth said the Keep our Pension Promises Act has already been introduced in the Senate.
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