Leaders Say Pension Funding Solution Unlikely in 2013

Kentucky legislative leaders say solutions on how to pay for Kentucky’s underfunded pensions won’t likely be addressed in the 2013 legislative session, which began Tuesday. Both House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers say there will likely be a bill to introduce changes to the pension systems. But they also agree that such a bill is unlikely to deal how to fund the changes.

Credit Rae Hodge, Kentucky Public Radio

What they do disagree on is when to deal with the funding solutions. Stumbo says pension funding should be dealt with in a special session, hand in hand with tax reform.

“There’ll be a bill, I don’t know whether it will be addressed," Stumbo says. "I think that we need, probably, to address the entire issue and that include the funding mechanism."

But Stivers says lawmakers should pass the changes now and deal with fully funding the pension system starting in 2014, when a new budget must be passed.

“I think that we can go ahead and make the mechanical changes to the system, then the requisite of funding the system we can be ready to address in the ’14 session. It is not something necessary to address now,” Stivers says.

A task force recently recommended fully funding the troubled pensions while switching new hires to a hybrid 401k system.