A few thoughts on the Herald-Leader story about Steve Beshear’s plan for state retirement systems. I’ll have more after we actually see the bill.
From the Herald-Leader:
FRANKFORT -- The state would save several hundreds of millions of dollars a year for its financially strapped retirement systems under a plan Gov. Steve Beshear and lawmakers are to unveil Thursday.
The plan primarily would affect future hires. It would raise the years of service before state workers could retire but not for teachers, place restrictions on "double dipping" in which state workers retire and then return to a job in government and eventually draw two pensions, and create a special panel to review any proposed changes in the pension systems.
House budget chairman Harry Moberly Jr., D-Richmond, said the primary area in which the plan deals with current employees is the cost-of-living adjustment on the pension system for state workers.
Their annual cost-of-living adjustment for current and future retirees would be 1.5 percent. Any adjustment higher than that would have to be approved and pre-funded by the state legislature. The COLA now is tied to the rate of inflation. In recent years, retirees have been getting about a 3 percent increase each year.
The COLA change "is going to be necessary," Moberly said in an interview Wednesday. "Overall, I think the governor has put forth a reasonable plan."
Some thoughts on what was in the story:
This will not include any current employees. If it did Beshear would have to send home half of the people he has appointed to jobs in state government.
These sacred cows can’t be touched by Beshear. After all the Jefferson County Teachers Association is one of the water carriers for legalizing Casinos.
The new employees will bear the brunt of the funding burden; it’s easier to screw the guys with no voice in the process.
Tough luck if your pension doesn’t keep up with inflation. You should be used to it, the same thing happened to your raises when you were working for state government.
What wasn’t in the story was the mention of health care. Why this 800 pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room was ignored is puzzling. At first blush this looks like band-aid fixes at best.
God forbid that Beshear, Moberly and the rest of the so called leaders of both parties in Frankfort have the guts to actually propose changing the tax laws to a fair system that would meet the obligations of state government.