Pence calls on lawmakers to eliminate their own pensions

10/29/2010 08:09 PM

Former Republican Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is calling on the legislature to overhaul the rules for future state retirees in order to stave off financial calamity and said reform must start with lawmakers eliminating their own pensions.

“The problem is that the people who are making the laws regarding the pension system are the very people who are benefiting from that system,” Pence said.

He said no part-time employees should get pension benefits,  including legislators, Pence said.

The issue has become a campaign theme in at least one race: the 12th state Senate district in Lexington.

Pence goes on to give an anecdote about an unnamed Republican legislator who was giddy with the prospect of getting enough service time as a lawmaker to qualify for a lifetime pension.

He said overall, the system is at risk of bankrupting the state as more state employees are able to retire in their 50s and live for decades more.

“It may have been a great system at one time, but it won’t work anymore,” Pence said.

“When those people who are drawing government (retirement) checks outnumber us, we’re done for,” he said. “I think we need to raise the length of service and the retirement age.”

- Ryan Alessi

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