Leaders pick top issues for 2013 – Brent Cooper on Kentucky’s Pension System
Topic: Kentuckys pension system
The top issue for our region is the Kentucky state pension system. Of course I still believe we need a new bridge, Angel Tax Credit legislation and more funding dedicated toward education, but if Kentucky doesn’t address its state pension issues, we are all going to be in a world of hurt.
Talking with family and friends, it appears to me that the average Kentuckian doesnt realize how serious the situation is. An average system should be funded at 80 percent. Kentucky is one of three states funded below 55 percent. How does this impact us?
The Kentucky Chamber puts it this way: “Less funding for schools. Service cutbacks for people in need. Construction projects canceled. Job-creating programs put on hold. Still higher college tuition.”
My business is headquartered in Covington, where local officials were recently faced with a $500,000 increase in their contribution. They can’t control that increase; it is directed by the state. As a result, they were forced to not replace some employees. So, the city spent more money, and citizens and businesses received less.
That crazy scenario is happening in cities and counties all over Northern Kentucky. If we don’t get this fixed, all our other priorities are in trouble.