All Politics are Local
State Pensions Fix Could Cost Retirees
State employees with higher pensions should pay more to help the underfunded systems recover, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview. One thing Stumbo doesn't want to see is lawmakers floating bonds to help pay for the state’s underfunded pensions. And that echoes what Republicans want; they're ruling out such a possibility.
Stumbo said he blames pension managers' bad investments for the current problems and says they don't need bond money to continue their work.
He'd like to see reform in that area.
“You know, I totally don’t have any confidence in the investing strategies and the way that that governing board is set up and until that happens, until there is a change there I don’t know if we’ll ever fix the problem and we certainly don’t want to give them more bonds where they squander that money like they have in the past,” Stumbo said.
Instead, the speaker said he would like to see public workers with higher pensions pay more to help fund recent recommendations from a task force.
“And you could pick a number, let’s just say that number is $50,000 a year," he said.
"If you are making more than $50,000 a year for your pension, that means you were probably making 60 or 70 or 80 thousand dollars a year as a state employee in a high paid administrative position in state government, I don’t see anything wrong with asking those people to pay a little bit.”
Stumbo and other lawmakers will be able to use a report from a bipartisan task force that looked into pension issues as a guide during the next legislative session.
But how to pay for the recommendations was something the task force chairmen said they felt like they shouldn't address, instead leaving that for other lawmakers.