Senator puts money where his mouth is with his pension; now calls for ending perks

10/01/2012 07:07 AM

After being elected in 2010, Democratic Sen. Dennis Parrett of Elizabethtown declined to enter the legislative pension system because he saw lawmakers getting perks other state employees couldn’t get. And now he wants to end those perks for future legislators.

“Do we deserve all these caveats that were put into HB 299 as opposed to regular state employees?” Parrett said (2:00).

Specifically, Parrett said he didn’t believe it was fair that the 2005 bill allowed legislators who are military veterans to buy years of service toward their retirement at a discounted rate for each year they served in the military. Another provision allows lawmakers who have served or go on to serve in the executive and judicial branches to combine their time of government service and salaries into the calculation their legislative pension.

Parrett has made public a bill he plans to file next year — pre-filed in August — that would end those perks for future lawmakers that legislators had built into their pensions.

“Our state employees — we owe it to them,” Parrett said. (5:00) “Our job is not to worry about us. Our job … is to fix what was done wrong in 2005,” he said.

Parrett also said lawmakers can opt out of the legislative pension and into the Kentucky Employee Retirement System. And he explained why he did that. (5:45)

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