September Retirements Up 37% in Kentucky

Originally published on September 6, 2017 3:43 pm

Retirements from one of Kentucky's largest public pension systems jumped 37 percent in September as lawmakers are considering potentially dramatic changes to prevent insolvency.

Kentucky's Republican House speaker says it is highly unlikely lawmakers would approve a pay cut for retirees as part of a proposal to rescue the state's troubled public pension plan.

Speaker Jeff Hoover said he has not seen any support among lawmakers for eliminating 16 years' worth of cost-of-living adjustments for state retirees. Last week, a state-funded analysis of the pension system recommended cutting benefits for current and future workers and eliminating the raises as a way to keep the system solvent.

The Kentucky Retirement Systems says 746 people retired as of Sept. 1 compared with 543 retirements one year ago. The retirements included state workers, police officers, firefighters and other local government workers.

Kentucky taxpayers are at least $33 billion short of the money required to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has vowed to call a special session of the state legislature later this year to make changes.

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