Kentucky House Questions Senate's Pension Plan

 "Changes have to be made in the Commonwealth to protect those people that are in the pension system. If nothing is done, there will be no pension system, it's simple as that," said Rep. Jim DeCesare (R) Rockfield

From day one of the 2013 legislative session, pension reform has been the biggest issue.

Lawmakers say the current system will go bankrupt in five years.

"Changes have to be made in the Commonwealth to protect those people that are in the pension system. If nothing is done, there will be no pension system, it's simple as that," said Rep. Jim DeCesare (R) Rockfield

Recently, the senate has passed a bill to combat this.

"I think the big issue for me always for me was making sure we save our workers state pension," said Sen. Mike Wilson (R) Bowling Green.

However, it doesn't become official unless the house approves it.

"There's no dedicated income source, or no dedicated revenue source for that bill. So, I think the house, when we consider it certainly look for a way to fund it, to get to the arc as they say, to get to the state making the appropriate contribution to that," said Rep. Wilson Stone (D) Scottsville.

The senate's plan calls for the state to start paying.

New hires will be on a cash balance plan that both the employee and the state will contribute to, and it eliminates cost of living allowances for current retirees.

"That's three billion dollars added to the unfunded liability. So, we did do away with that. The other thing is it does not preclude future legislatures from of being able to give a COLA, but when they do it would be fully funded at that time," said Wilson.

"One of my problems I have with some of the suggestions is for those people that are already drawing retirement. They've already begun to live their life based on what they're getting. It's very hard for me to think about them taking anything away from them or changing anything that they already have, because once you have started drawing if you are a certain age, it's hard for you to find money to recuperate and take up for that lost money," said Rep. Martha Jane King (D) Lewisburg.

Now, it will be up to the house decide one way or the other.

This will not include teachers, only state employees.

A date is not yet set on when this issue could potentially be resolved, and the house is entitled to make some changes and send legislation back to the senate for approval.


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