Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kentucky Governor calls special session to address pension shortfall

Gov. Steve Beshear called state lawmakers into a special session to begin June 23 to overhaul the state’s retirement systems.

Beshear set up a task force to study ways to improve investment return for pension funds and other unresolved issues. It will present recommendations for lawmakers to consider in the 2009 General Assembly.

He also said passage of pension reform legislation in next week's special session is projected to reduce by nearly $500 million a year the obligation state and local governments have to fund the pension system and provide about $56 million in immediate relief to county and city governments and school districts.

If the plan becomes law, new hires in non-hazardous jobs would need their age and years of service to total 87, with a minimum age of 57, before they could retire.

Also, the annual cost-of-living adjustment for retirees, now based on inflation, would be reduced to 1.5 percent. "Double dippers," state retirees who return to state jobs, would not get state pensions for their post-retirement jobs.

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