By RONNIE ELLIS
A group of Republican candidates for the state House and Senate and one independent candidate called Wednesday for an end to state legislative pensions funded by the state.
Brian Linder, the Republican candidate for the 61st House seat held by the retiring Royce Adams and who is opposed by Democrat Wand Crupper Hammons, said the change would affect only newly elected lawmakers.
Veteran lawmakers could opt out of the current, tax-payer funded pensions and enroll in a 401-K type pension plan. Current legislative pensions are defined benefit plans, funded by tax dollars, and lawmakers who achieve the minimum number of years of service are fully vested.
The legislative pensions have also become controversial because of a lawmaker-approved change which allows lawmakers to count salaries from other state positions in calculating pension payments based on their years of service in the legislature.
State Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, has pre-filed bills to allow current lawmakers to opt out of the current plan while placing new legislators in a defined contribution or 501-K type plan. Another bill pre-filed by Floyd would end legislative pensions. Floyd was not at Wednesday’s press conference.
“When part-time legislators like Greg Stumbo have full-time pensions to the tune of $1.25 million, we have a problem, and it is our responsibility to act,” Linder said. “We believe this action, while a small step, is an important one toward eliminating the most predictable crisis Kentucky has ever faced.”
For the full story, read the Sept. 14 print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.