Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin will soon convene a special session of Kentucky’s legislature that will determine how to repair the Commonwealth’s public pension system, which is one of the most poorly funded in the nation.
Given all the lives touched by our pension system, our lawmakers will need to be meticulously fair in deciding how to proceed. And to do this, in my opinion, they need to consider different ways of dealing with four distinct groups of public employees.
First, all promises made to those who are already retired must be honored for life, no exceptions.
This should also be true of current employees with at least ten years of service. That’s long enough for them to have made life decisions based on their pension promises, and any reductions would cause undue hardship.
But while current employees with less service should certainly still get all benefits already earned, any further pension accrual should end immediately, and be replaced with a 401K-type plan, with the state offering a fair matching sum.
And finally, future state employees should not receive pensions, but standard 401Ks in their place.
We can debate exactly how much tenure should be required to be “untouchable,” but what I’ve just described seems the fairest way to deal with our very real pension crisis while best keeping our promises to those affected.
Call and share your thoughts.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.
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