Educators worried they will lose their retirement

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky educators are in a panic because state law makers are thinking about pension reform this year.

A pension town hall meeting was held, educators got the chance to talk to state legislators about their concerns.

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Fayette County teachers are saying a pension was a promise. Putting in hundreds of dollars a month thinking they will get a good retirement, but now they are afraid they will never see that money.

Fredrick Douglass high school, packed with teachers and educators across Fayette County with questions in hand.

Kentucky’s pension program is 33 billion dollars short over the next 30 years and legislators say they have to make cuts somewhere.

“If we do nothing we are looking at probably being bankrupt in about six years. So the state is running out of funds very quickly at 14% funding for the KERS system and that’s bismal. Other states that I have talked to made changes when they are at 90 to 95% and we waited this long so something has to be done.”

Educators are saying it’s not fair to public employees.

“Teacher’s are public servants and we do this job because we love kids. The pay isn’t great but there is promise at the end of our career of a stable pension so that we can live with dignity at the end of our career and we just want the legislator to keep their promise.”

“Legislators want to do the right thing. We know that we have a problem that has been kicked down the road for twenty years. we want to fix it and get it forward so people have a retirement that they can count on.”

Now public employees are urging each other to write to their local legislators before voting on the new bill.

This was just an evening for discussion with no action taken. Governor Matt Bevin says he will call a special session to deal with the pension problem, but it’s not clear when that will be.