Kentucky Bill Aims to Shine Light on Lawmakers’ Pensions

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In Kentucky, like all states, lawmakers earn a public pension.

But unlike most states, the details of those pension benefits are secret in Kentucky, and do not qualify for disclosure under open records or FOIA laws.

A bill, currently in the Senate, seeks to change that.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Senate Bill 45 would require public disclosure of individual benefits for current and former legislators enrolled in the legislative pension system, the judicial pension system, the Kentucky Retirement Systems for state employees or the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System for educators.

“I think we’ll learn that the vast majority of people who retire don’t draw the kind of pensions that people think they do. But there are some select circumstances where people have done things the public would find egregious in terms of spiking benefits,” McDaniel told reporters after the Senate Committee on State and Local Government voted unanimously for his bill.

McDaniel said he expects the full Senate to approve his bill by early next week.

Pension transparency bills in the past have hit a roadblock in the House State Government Committee, where Chairman Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, is an opponent.

“My basic philosophy is, if you’re in public office or if you’re a public employee, then what you’re currently earning as salary should be public information, and it is,” Yonts said Wednesday. “Once you’ve retired, though, what you draw from retirement benefits is nobody else’s business.”

Kentucky’s judicial pension system is 85 percent funded, making it the state’s healthiest pension system by far.

 

Photo by TaxRebate.org.uk

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