They don’t have a bill to share with the public yet, and there still isn’t a date for a special legislative session, but Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and GOP legislative leaders on Wednesday unveiled a summary of their proposed solution for Kentucky’s public pension crisis.
“Keeping the promise is what we’re really doing here today,” Bevin said.
One big change: Teachers and state and local government employees hired after July 1, 2018, no longer will receive defined-benefits pensions that guarantee them payments throughout their retirements, Bevin said. Instead, they will be enrolled in defined-contribution plans like 401(k) accounts, that they and their employers will contribute to, he said.
Most current teachers and government employees will retain their defined-benefits pensions, with the exception of state employees hired after January 2014, who already are enrolled in “cash-balance” plans rather than pensions. Those workers will be rolled into defined-contribution plans next year, Bevin said.
Official retirement ages for currently employed teachers and government employees won’t change, Bevin said. State employees in non-hazardous retirement plans will be expected to kick in three percent of their salary as an additional contribution to fund the retiree health care program.
Bevin said he expects to call a special legislative session to approve a pension reform bill soon, but he does not yet have a date to announce. Lawmakers on hand Wednesday said the session should not last more than five days when it does happen.
The next regular session of the General Assembly begins in January.