Pension roundtable: What retirees group, Bluegrass Institute have to say about pension reform

09/02/2017 09:45 AM

As Gov. Matt Bevin and lawmakers continue working on pension reform and grappling with unfunded liabilities estimated up to $64 billion in Kentucky’s retirement programs for government workers and teachers, stakeholders and interest groups are weighing in on what they hope to see when the General Assembly convenes for a special session later this year.

Dr. Bill Smith, part of the Bluegrass Institute’s Pension Reform Team, and Jim Carroll, co-founder of Kentucky Government Retirees, joined Pure Politics for an in-studio roundtable on pension reform.

Carroll says the current systems can be saved with an influx of new revenue while Smith says government pensions should be shifted to defined-contribution plans combined with spending cuts to resolve the financial crisis, and the two disagreed on exactly what constitutes the inviolable contract and how far lawmakers can go to alter benefits for current employees.

Watch more from part of the discussion here:

2 Comments

Comments

  • JoeB wrote on September 08, 2017 12:32 PM :

    Dr Smith needs to stick to examining and removing moles from his patients. Check into his past in his own community in west Ky.He caused all kinds of problems for funding involving a public library or other public facility in or near Madisonville. No one should listen to this yahoos spill involving Kys public pensions.

  • Larry W wrote on September 12, 2017 04:45 PM :

    So, basically Dr. Smith is saying….benefits were granted that weren’t originally planned on/funded. Why didn’t the state adjust the ACR to reflect this….but wait that would require more funding…they left it out for a purpose. The legislature has been granting “carrots” for 20 yrs., this is a way to keep the votes going their way. I still would like to see a chart by year that would calculate what the KRS funds would be if the ACR was properly funded. Remember for some 20 yrs, they did not meet the ACR that was calculated by the state; which was probably already a low calculation. We must also remember that by short changing the ACR, that amount compounded the Unfunded Liability each year that it was shortchanged. But if what I have been researching is true, previous administrations have dipped into the retirement accounts to help get business to the Commonwealth, i.e…Toyota (125 million). Was that money replaced?
    Also, if true that there are 13.5 billion tax loopholes for business and the state brings in less than 10 billion in revenue….it seems its time for tax reform…close some of the loopholes, increase revenue by sales tax, gaming legislation and oh god forbid the horse industry that has received a free ride for years.
    I will say that Gov. Bevin has finally brought this to the attention of the Commonwealth but trying to fix this problem by cuts alone will not work, tax revenue must be increased to help cover this.
    The inviolable contract has been looked at before, Gov. Fletcher tried to weaken it; Gov. Fletcher had a team of lawyers work on it and they said that it was “one of the strongest worded pension contracts in the nation.”

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