KY Gov Deliberately Starving Teachers' Pensions, Says Lawsuit

Kentucky Governor Steve Bashear and his right wing friends in the General Assembly are starving the state's teachers' pensions, according to an upcoming lawsuit. The pensions could become insoluble in the very near future, WKYU reports:

"Some experts believe that in four, maybe five years, at the present funding rate, that it'll be impossible to recapture what's needed," Lavit told Kentucky Public Radio. "There are quite a few teachers upset about the present state of affairs."

Truth is, nowhere near enough money is being put into the pensions' coffers to replace cash being paid out to teachers already retired. A real kick in the teeth for teachers getting by on meager salaries, overcrowded classrooms, and constant cutbacks. The teachers are asking the government to put in $11 billion in back payments back into the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS).

But it looks like Bashear et al are hoping the pensions go into that "death spiral", so they could eventually go the way of other conservative states latching on to austerity economics, like Illinois:

That could result, they'll argue, in negative effects on the state's credit rating or, as in the case of pension-addled Illinois, reduced benefits for public employees. Earlier this year, The Retired State Employees Association of Illinois and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association filed suit against the state for those reasons.

By the KTRS' estimation, they are receiving about half of what they should be to keep the system up and running and in the black – $752 million instead of the $1.4 billion requested.

The lawsuit will be filed sometime this summer, after an offshoot of the KTRS, the Teacher Retirement Legal Fund, puts enough of a war chest together to bring the suit to court. Expect a lot more on this issue in the coming months.


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