The Dragon's Tale

KY Pension Crisis

Baileigh Dighton, Staff Journalist

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The new Kentucky Teachers Pension Plan has sparked a fire within the teachers, principals, staff, and families throughout our lovely state. Many gathered the past few weeks to protest on City Hall’s steps, in an attempt to have the new plan abolished.

This new plan was proposed by Governor Matt Bevin, trying to switch Kentucky’s old retirement plan into a new 401k style plan. Currently, the teachers will be allowed to stick to the plans they are already on until they reach 27 years teaching, in which they will switch to the 401k style plan. This would then cause a flood of retirements in current teachers. In order to avoid this, the teachers are allowed 3 years to switch after their 27th year. However any incoming teachers would start off with the 401k style plan, not having to reach any specific employment time. Originally, the teachers’ pensions would grow throughout the time the teacher taught. When they retire, the Board of Education would match it and that amount is what the teacher would get paid annually the rest of their retirement. This changing along with the employment rate of the teachers within Kentucky.

The main issue with this new plan is that it discourages incoming teachers to become teachers seeing as their wages have dropped detrimentally and that they believed their retirement plan would continue to grow until they retired (the old pension plan). This has been taken away for any new teachers because now there is a predicted job decrease due to the new plan. This will then result in worse learning environments with unqualified teachers who are underpaid and overworked.

As a whole, this new pension plan looks great on paper, yet when you apply it to real life the pension seems detrimental and ineffective. The way the 401k style plan is set up will without a doubt hurt the school systems in Kentucky because the new plan will affect the amount of people applying to be teachers. It underpays and cuts the benefits of the teachers who originally thought their pension would grow as they taught. Therefore, this new Kentucky Pension Plan is sure to affect the overall further of Kentucky for the worse.

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KY Pension Crisis