NewsCovering Kentucky


Pension Bill In Limbo As Final Day Of Legislative Session Begins

Posted at 6:42 AM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 07:57:01-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)– So far in this legislative session 150 bills have made it to the governor’s desk to be signed or vetoed.

And lawmakers have just hours to get final legislation passed.

Thursday they’ll be working on a number of topics, including House Bill 358, which focuses on the pension system in Kentucky.

Kentucky is facing a $37 billion pension shortfall.

HB 358 would allow some agencies to opt out of the state pension fund without paying all they owe.

Right now, there are two versions of this bill.

One passed by the House of Representatives and another by the Senate, the governor has vowed to veto the House version if it passes.

Organizations affected include health departments, regional universities, mental health facilities, and other quasi-governmental agencies.

Starting July 1 those agencies would need to contribute 84 percent of each employees salary into the Kentucky retirement system which is up to 49 percent.

Some organizations say if that goes into effect, they’d have to slash their services or even close.

Some universities say that would result in deep cuts and or high tuition costs.

The House version of the bill would allow only the universities to get out of the state pension plan and pay back what they owe on a 25-year installment plan.

The Senate version creates a transition process for universities and other quasi-public agencies to get out of the KRS, move employees to a 401(K) style plan, and pay off their pension liabilities on an installment plan.

Whichever version passes Thursday will stick, and there will not be a chance to override a veto from governor as lawmakers will be out of session until January.