Kentucky Governor Bevin: "State employees are bankrupting the state"
Wednesday 26 February 64400 Shares
This morning, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin held a live session on his Facebook page detailing his proposal to change Kentucky state employee pension plans. As a part of the new framework he outlined, new employees will be placed in a 401K pension plan but current employees will remain in the pension plan. "We are keeping the promise of the pension" Bevin said. However the governor offered no outline as a way to pay for the current unfunded liability within the Kentucky Retirement System which is estimated to be over $30 billion dollars. When asked about paying for the unfunded liability and retiree defined benefit pensions, Bevin said "we will do our best to make sure the funds are there for our retirees."
Bevin repeated his comments that state employees have "gamed the system for far too long" by not retiring at the end of their 27 years of service. "Teachers continue to hoard sick days in order to have a higher pension. Those days are over."
Some citizens have been critical of the governor's secret meetings, which have happened in the weeks since his last Facebook session last August. Critics claim that secret meetings determining the salary and benefits of state employees should be held in a public forum. "We've kicked that can down the road far too long and we are finally doing something about it. It's a good, good plan. If our legislators do the right thing, they will vote for removing state pensions."
The plan in its current form looks to tax state employees next year an additional 3 to offset insurance costs. Additionally, any new employee within their first five years may be allowed to move into a 401K plan and contribute to social security. Employees who reach 27 years of service, or 60 years of age, will automatically be enrolled in a 401K plan. Additional information of Bevin's plan is forthcoming and both a bill and special session might occur by the end of October. "The time has come and we just need to get people off their addiction to state money."