Heiner says Frankfort leaders not paying attention when it comes to pensions

08/26/2014 08:15 AM

Equating the financially struggling public pension system to an ocean liner heading towards an iceberg, Republican primary candidate for governor Hal Heiner says the state needs to come up with an overall plan to deal with the pension system.

Heiner said his campaign would have a “holistic plan” to deal with the pension systems in the state which are ranked among the worst funded in the nation.

“If it was a liner a — ocean liner it’s an ocean liner heading for an iceberg. We’ve got the House leadership rearranging the deck chairs on the liner. We’ve got the administration saying everything is fine — and we know it’s not fine. We were just ranked 50th in the country for unfunded pension liabilities,” Heiner said.

In May, Fitch Ratings ranked one of the plans under the Kentucky Retirement Systems umbrella the worst funded in the country. The entire pension system has more than $17 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Heiner’s campaign manager Joe Burgan told Pure Politics Monday that the solution to the pension problem — which Heiner said has reached Titanic proportions — will require “tough choices to fix the problem.”

“Frankfort has continued to ignore this problem as it has grown into a major crisis and it will require tough choices to fix the problem,” Burgan said. “What we absolutely should not do, however, is trust the same Frankfort politicians who got us in this mess in the first place to find a solution – particularly not those politicians who voted to raid the pension fund to pad their own retirement accounts.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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