Issues & Action - Pension Reform

Background:
The General Assembly formed a task force to examine and recommend reforms in the Kentucky
Retirement Systems (KRS). School classified employees are covered by one of the systems that are part of KRS – the County Employee Retirement System (CERS). The task force has adopted recommendations.

KEA is part of a Public Pension Coalition that is working together to combat recommendations that
would be harmful to school employees and also assure better funding from the state for KRS, which has been significantly underfunded for more than a decade. The teachers’ retirement system (KTRS) is not part of the legislative discussions at this point.

Talking points:

  1. Classified school employees are among the lowest paid employees in KRS, with an average salary of about $14,000 per year. Even with such low salaries, these employees have never missed making their required contribution to CERS.
  2. The meager retirement benefit classified employees can expect to earn on such a low salary is barely enough for retirees to survive, even when coupled with Social Security.
  3. CERS employers (school districts) have made the actuarially required contribution (ARC) to adequately fund their system because it is required in state law. Because of this financial commitment, CERS is among the best-funded state pension systems at a current funding level of 62%.
  4. Classified employees shouldn’t be forced to give up their secure benefit to help offset the underfunding of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System by the legislature, which is not required by state law to make the ARC.
  5. Pension income has a huge impact on communities across Kentucky. Most retirees stay in Kentucky and spend their pension income in local businesses. This spending is critical to Kentucky’s economy.
  6. School employees earn significantly less than other Kentuckians with similar level s of education and experience. To help offset that earning penalty Kentucky has always provided decent Health Insurance and Retirement Benefits to secure these public servants into their golden years. Walking away from this commitment will make it harder for the state to attract and retain the high quality public servants we need to care for our children.

Please contact your legislators today and ask them to protect Retirement Security for Kentucky’s School Employees.

In an effort to protect Kentucky School Employees Retirement Benefit, KEA joined with other employees groups to create the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition. For more information or to get involved please visit, www.publicpensioncoalitionky.org . You can also visit the coalition on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/KentuckyPublicPensionCoalition or follow Twitter handle
@kypublicpension.


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