FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)-- Hundreds of state workers gathered at the Kentucky capitol Wednesday to rally for their full pensions.
They were there protesting proposed changes to their retirement benefits. The latest bill just went to legislators last week.
Republican leaders have proposed changes because Kentucky has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in the country.
On Wednesday, speakers took to the podium and the overwhelming message was for the state to keep their promise of a full pension.
"The issue is one, how we're being treated by our governor and our legislators. The other is that the solutions they have are not viable for us. It's not an option that we're willing to take especially when we're the only ones that are taking the cuts," said Katie Hancock with United We Stand.
Governor Bevin's proposal would freeze the pensions for most current employees once they hit 27 years of service, moving them into a 401(k) style plan that does not guarantee a monthly pension check for life.
"I knew that although my monthly pay may not be what I'm worth in my opinion, that I had the promise of a pension," said Sara Greene, a public school teacher.
Greene is among the many that worries if this pension bill goes into effect, by July 1, 2018, thousands could retire to protect their pension as it stands now.
"If we cannot retain, and we cannot attract quality public school teachers, those who suffer are going to be the students," said Greene.
“Personally I think that we’ve gotten the cart before the horse. That there needs to be a funding source established in order to fund the pension before you start dabbling around with fixes that are on the backs of state employees and teachers," said Gary Adkins with the Department of Financial Institutions.
Multiple groups representing teachers and state workers have opposed the plan.