January 28, 2013

Kentucky Public Retirees Unfunded Liabilities Surpass $18 Billion

Unfunded liabilities for the Kentucky Retirement Systems is now over $18 billion, and shows no signs of coming down any time soon, worsening annually.

While the attempt to make this look like something that can be solved without concessions by those with pensions in the KRS, it's highly unlikely it can happen without that, and Kentucky should follow in the steps of Wisconsin, which with a law which had public employees of that state pay in a very small amount. That quickly moved the state into the black as to its budget, showing the way this type of problem must be solved.

The problem goes back a long way, one in which, as with most government employees, more is promised than can be sustainable over a period of time, as evidenced by the baby boomers entering their retirement age. Younger people can't pay for the outrageous perks, so the unfunded liabilities continue to mount, with few lawmakers in Kentucky willing to make the tough decisions that must be made.

Not only that, but there appears to be no will to cut back on spending, which is the answer to the problem, while making KRS retirees more responsible for their own pension fund, not the taxpayers of Kentucky.

The problem is, as mentioned, is that benefits beyond the market were promised by the government, and now that it's time to pay them out as more and more employees retire, the taxpayers can't and won't support that for which they don't come close to getting in their own benefit packages.

Why should productive, private citizens pay for promises that shouldn't have ever been made, and for which they are hurt even more if taxes are increased to pay for those irresponsible lawmakers who in the past allowed them to be made?

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