pension

WEKU.fm

Kentucky’s health departments are facing tough choices after the passage of Governor Matt Bevin’s pension bill last week Lisa Gillespie has more.

Health departments currently pay the equivalent of 49 percent of the salaries of employees to the pension system. But that was set to skyrocket to 84 percent of the salaries this month. 

Now, that big increase has been pushed off for another year. 

Allison Adams is the president of the Kentucky Public Health Association and Director at the Buffalo Trace District Health Department.

She says she’s relieved health departments have another year to figure out what’s financially feasible. 


Updated: Bevin Signs Pension Bill

Jul 24, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

 Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a  proposal Wednesday afternoon providing relief from surging pension costs for regional universities and 118 “quasi” state agencies like local health departments, rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters.

The measure allows the agencies to buy out of Kentucky’s ailing pension system and incentivizes them to move their employees into 401k-type retirement plans, preventing them from earning future pension benefits.

The bill could affect up to 7,000 employees and is also expected to add $827 million in state pension costs.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has crafted a new version of the pension bill he vetoed last month and is expected to call a special session for lawmakers to consider the issue soon.

The measure is similar to the one that Bevin rejected last month. It allows regional universities and agencies like health departments to exit the state’s pension system to avoid a spike in the amount of money they have to contribute to it.

  The board of Jefferson County Public Schools has unanimously passed a resolution that asks Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis to withdraw his request for the names of school employees who called in sick in recent weeks. Lewis said he won’t withdraw the request.

The school board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the Kentucky Department of Education’s request for the district’s attendance records. 

 

WEKU.fm

Republican leaders of the Kentucky legislature say they will consider passing another bill dealing with state workers’ retirement benefits if the state Supreme Court strikes down the controversial pension bill that drew thousands of protesters to Frankfort earlier this year.

Kentucky.gov

  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.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and a lawyer representing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s office argued over whether legislators violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage in a matter of hours this spring. Changes to retirement benefits in the pension bill mostly affect future state employees but also tweak benefits for some current workers.

Aaron Payne/Ohio Valley ReSource

United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!”

The rally last week came on the eve of a Congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multiemployer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon.

“When the people get to marching, the politicians get to listening,” Roberts roared.

Ky.gov

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pensions system. 

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure when they passed it.

Bevin asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract”—a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired. 
 

WUKY.Com

Only 32 percent of Kentuckians surveyed this month approved of Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s job performance. Political Science Professor Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at Western Kentucky University, which conducted the poll. He says despite Bevin’s low approval rating, his hardcore supporters appear to appreciate his recent efforts during the General Assembly.

Teachers Storm Capitol Protesting Pension Bill

Mar 30, 2018
Ketnucky.com

 

Teachers from around Kentucky descended on Frankfort Friday  morning to protest a surprise pension bill that was rushed through the state legislature the day before. About two dozen school districts were shut down because of teacher walk outs. 

Kentucky.com

Retired teachers are voicing concerns about the ability to for Kentucky schools to hire quality teachers should a core component of the proposed pension plan be enacted. Kentucky Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Tim Abrams says having teachers switch to 401(a) plans would be a drain on taxpayers and offer fewer benefits.

Abrams said many teachers are willing to forgo cost-of-living adjustments to help fix the system. That is, he said, until he tells them what it would mean to their bankbook. 

Pension Fix Is Top Priority For Kentucky Chamber

Dec 7, 2017
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

The state pension issue is at the top of the list of legislative goals the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce would like to see addressed in 2018. President Dave Adkisson spoke to members of the Paducah Chamber Thursday.  

Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson says the pension issue is the QUOTE “number one threat” to the state’s financial stability and must be addressed in order to pass the 2018 budget.

Hoover Scandal Disrupts Pension Debate

Nov 8, 2017

Last week, Kentucky lawmakers were focused on the state’s ailing pension systems.  Gov. Matt Bevin had just released a controversial plan to switch most workers into 401(k)-style plans that drew fire from public employees.

Then, sexual harassment allegations exploded in Frankfort, implicating the Speaker of the House and other Republican lawmakers.   

The scandal has taken lawmakers’ eyes off the ball on pension reform, and it’s unclear if they’ll get back on track.

 


Groups Review State Pension Reform Proposals

Sep 18, 2017
kentucky.com

As they draft pension reforms, Kentucky legislative leaders are seeking feedback from various interest groups. 

Indications are the state’s 138 lawmakers will go to Frankfort sometime in October to vote on changes to state public retirement programs.


Lexington Leader Eyes Public Pension Reform

Sep 5, 2017
wkyt.com

Work at the state level to address public pension problems is also being watched closed at the local government level.  

Council Member Susan Lamb broached the topic last week during the weekly work session. 


Kentucky.com/Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky House lawmakers have held a private meeting Tuesday to discuss the state's troubled pension system.

Republican and Democratic legislators met at the State Capitol for about two hours.   

 


Ky Universities Proposing Separate Pension System

Aug 16, 2017
Stu Johnson

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson says a proposal for state schools to move out of the state retirement system is under discussion.  

The university president spoke during the annual convocation before faculty and staff Tuesday in Richmond. 


A bill that would separate the relatively healthy retirement fund for local governments from one of the state’s ailing pension systems is dead — despite a push from local officials.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced on Thursday that he has asked bill sponsor Sen. Joe Bowen to pause the legislation.

“The most critical thing is to make sure we get this right,” Bevin said.

Bowen said he still supports the bill and argued that tabling it now would help its chances in the future.

Kentucky’s public pension system, which officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in worse shape than previously thought.

The bigger potential problem for Kentucky Retirement Systems means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

governor.ky.gov

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling upon the Kentucky General Assembly to make “bold, hard, decisions” when it comes to tax reform. 

During Wednesday State of the Commonwealth speech, Bevin said tax reform and further steps to reduce the state’s $82 million pension deficit need to be done together in a special session this year.  Bevin said some 300 tax loopholes deserve attention.

 “We exempt more income in Kentucky than we take in.  That’s going to have to change, ” Bevin said.


Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Some 10,000 signatures were delivered to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s London office Monday asking the majority leader to support the Miner’s Protection and Reclaim acts.

Public Employee Pensions topic of Kentucky Tonight

Dec 18, 2012

On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss public employee pensions.  The program that aired "live" on KET Monday night will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations.

Lexington Fire Chief Bob Hendricks says he has a total and permanent occupational disability. His request for a disability retirement came before the Police and Fire Pension Board Wednesday morning, while the embattled chief remains on paid leave. Hendricks was asked resign from his post two months ago amid overtime and budget problems within the Division of Fire. He refused to step down.