Pension Fix Stumps Kentucky Lawmakers


On Tuesday, Kentucky lawmakers met with a special task force that has been working since summer to come up with options to improve the funding and sustainability of the state’s teacher pension system.

But the meeting yielded no breakthroughs, and the debate is still stuck on one snag: to issue bonds, or not to issue bonds?

From WFPL:

If state leaders are closer to solving the crisis in the Kentucky teachers’ pension system, they’re not showing it.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan task force of legislators and advocacy group leaders was supposed to present a menu of ideas for addressing the teachers’ pension problem.

But few concrete solutions came out of the meeting, with a familiar line being drawn over whether to borrow money to shore up the system.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, said bonds should have a role in fixing the system.

“I haven’t heard any alternatives, if anybody else has got any other suggestions,” Stumbo said.


Owensboro Republican Sen. Joe Bowen still opposes bonding as a solution for the pension crisis.

“My position on bonding has not changed,” Bowen said on Tuesday. “I’ve not wavered one iota on the value or the validity of bonding. I absolutely do not think that should be any part of resolving this issue.”

Teachers’ pension system leaders say the state will need to pay $520 million — about 5 percent of the state’s total annual resources — to maintain current funding levels. That’s up from $380 million that the state paid this year.

Kentucky’s teacher pension system is 54 percent funded, which makes it significantly healthier than the state’s system for general employees.


Photo credit: “Ky With HP Background” by Original uploader was HiB2Bornot2B at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transfer was stated to be made by User:Vini 175.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

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