Kentucky Legislature
6:54 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Bluegrass Institute Blames Lawmakers for Struggling Pension Systems

The watchdog group Bluegrass Institute has released a report blaming Kentucky'’s lawmakers for various issues with the state’'s pension systems.

Bloomberg has ranked Kentucky's state pensions among the worst-funded in the country. And the Bluegrass Institute puts the blame on the General Assembly.

There are six public pension systems in Kentucky, with accounts for legislative workers, judicial workers, county employees, state employees, teachers and police and other workers in hazardous positions. The accounts for teachers, county and state employees are dangerously close to being bankrupt. However, the pension for legislative workers, including lawmakers, is healthy.

Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters says lawmakers have neglected others' pensions in order to protect their own retirement accounts.

“"And we have taxpayers funding such Cadillac benefits who cannot afford a retirement system for their own families or many times go with healthcare or adequate health insurance for their own families, who are being forced to fund these lavish benefits,"” he says. “"This reports shows and I think adds weight to that argument by showing how legislators have used the system and game the system in some cases to become millionaires.”"

The Bluegrass Institute will propose various solutions for keeping Kentucky’'s pensions from going bankrupt later this year.

Lawmakers also plan to do the same with the creation of a pension task force, which will start work this summer.