Matt Bevin Wins Kentucky Governorship; Here’s His Stance on Public Pensions

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Republican Matt Bevin won the Kentucky governorship on Tuesday, and one of the most pressing issues he’ll face is his state’s pension funding crisis.

State workers were watching this election closely, because the candidates had significantly different views on retirement policy.

What can they expect now that Bevin sits behind the Governor’s desk?

Here’s Bevin’s official pension platform, straight from his own website:

Our plan will fix our public retirement system while ensuring that we meet the existing obligations we have made to retired state workers. This starts with instituting an immediate freeze on the expansion of participants in our current pension plans and implementing a 401(k) style defined contribution plan for new employees.

That’s a stark difference from Democratic candidate Jack Conway, who preferred to leave the state’s defined-benefit system intact.

In this clip, below, Bevin further discusses his views on the state’s pension crisis:

Finally, a nice summary of Bevin’s stances from WFPL, which notes Bevin’s aversion to pension obligation bonds:

Neither of the major party candidates for governor support plans to issue bonds to shore up the pension funds. Issuing a $3.3 billion bond was the favorite solution of state Democrats last year, but a bill authorizing the bond past the state House but was blocked by the Senate.

Republican candidate Matt Bevin’s pension plan calls for putting new state employees on a 401K-style defined contribution plan and having current state employees make increased pension contributions.

The plan is aimed at decreasing the systems’ liability to future pension-holders by moving their retirement savings into quasi-independent accounts.

[…]

Bevin wants to give existing employees the option to transfer to the 401K plan.

 

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