February 18, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Seek Pension Opt-Out

State Rep. Diane St. Onge, R-Lakeside Park, has introduced a bill which would allow lawmakers to opt out of the state pension system, a move made to set an example for others and help some to make good on promises made during campaigns.

While the new legislators had the integrity and will to follow through on their promises to opt out of the state pension plan, current Kentucky law forbids them from doing so.

The bill would prevent anyone elected after July 1 of 2013 from entering the state pension system, while offering a provision for incumbents to remain in the plan if they choose to.

“It sets an example,” St. Onge said. “We can’t be asking other employees of government, whether on the local or state level, to cut back if we’re not willing to. At least you set the groundwork on some moral framework in which to ask someone else to cut back.”

Kentucky currently has a $30 billion pension shortfall, one which is having nothing done at this time to deal with it.

The only real answer if for those in the pension system to start paying for more of their benefit, which is far above the private sector. At this time there is no will to do so, but hopefully a bill like this, if passed, would be a step in that direction.

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