Kentucky looks to ease local governments' pension pain

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Local governments in Kentucky would have more time to pay massive increases in retirement contributions under a bill moving through the state legislature.

Most Kentucky local governments were facing increases of 50 percent or more in their contributions to the state retirement system. Many local leaders complained the increases are too steep and would require them to either raise taxes or drastically cut services.

To avoid that, lawmakers have proposed phasing in those payments over the next decade. Instead of paying it all at once, cities would pay 12 percent increases each year until they have fully funded the required increase.

Kentucky is at least $41 billion short of the money required to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years to state workers, police officers, firefighters, public school teachers and local government employees.

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