Some Education Employees Dislike The Pension Reform Plans

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Many of Kentucky's education employees are not happy with the tentative pension reform plans.

They say compromise is necessary to fix their retirement systems and avoid even bigger problems in the future.

The latest pension reform plan for employees in Kentucky's education system isn't a hit with KEA, but officials say it's the least damaging proposal they've seen so far.

“We're of the opinion that public school employees have always paid their contribution, and that this legislation is punitive toward the public school employees; they're the ones feeling the pain from this legislation,” Tom Denton, Vice President of KEA, said.

KEA officials say for seven of the last 13 years, the state hasn't paid its required amount into the retirement systems.

Now legislators are promising full funding by 2024 in exchange for employees giving up a chunk of their cost of living adjustment when they retire.

“Imagine if we did that to Shell Oil. Say, you can only raise the price of gas 1.5%. It's not very practical,” Wayne Bishop, President Perry County Education Association said.

Many educators say they're unsure about the long-term impact on recruiting new hires.

“We want to see new educators come in. But at the same time we want to make sure that they are secure, and we want to make sure that they have a retirement to look forward to just like we did,” Juanita Spangler said.

KEA officials say they hope the sacrifices they're willing to make now, will help put a shaky pension system on stable ground.

KEA officials also tell us they hope all sides stick to their tentative agreement, so the special session ends as quickly as possible.

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