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Proposed Pension Changes Prompting Uptick in Retirements

Liu Ming, 123rf Stock Photo

Kentucky is seeing an increase in the number of government workers choosing to retire. According to the Kentucky Retirement Systems, retirements this month are up 37% over September of last year. 

State Representative Wilson Stone of Allen County fears that recommended changes to pension benefits have caused public employees to jump ship prematurely. He said that’s not good for state and local agencies.

“It takes veteran people out disproportionately fast. You know there’s always an attrition plan you know to replace everybody. But if you double the number of people going out over a period of time, then you really strain the hiring process you strain people with less experience to move into more responsible positions,” said Stone.

Stone said it also worsens the pension deficit when workers paying into the system retire. As of last week, KRS reported 746 state and local government employees will retire this month. The average number of September retirements over the past four years was 542.

Consultants have recommended switching from defined-benefit pensions for public employees to less generous defined- contribution accounts, a raise in the retirement age to 65 for most workers, and the claw-back of previously awarded cost-of-living adjustments to some retirees.

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Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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