Kentucky legislators and state employees react to pension plan

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Matt Bevin proposed plan Wednesday to deal with a public pension shortfall. Though the plan doesn’t end the pension system, people still have concerns, some voicing them in Frankfort Thursday night.

Three Kentucky legislators talked to around one hundred people at Bondurant Middle School about the pension plan, saying, quite simply, they’re not happy with it.

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Some say they feel as though they are being punished. That’s because, as Senator Reggie Thomas puts it, the new plan, that eventually moves current worker to a 401(K)-style plan, is like a bait-and-switch.

“I just don’t see how you can justify changing the rules in the middle of the game and affecting something as important as people’s retirement security,” said Thomas.

With the plan’s outline in hand, they talked about what each point will mean for them.

Governor Bevin said in Wednesday’s press conference, he is confident this is the right plan.

“When you have a plan that fulfills every promise, that delivers on everything that is contractually required, that addresses every single person and takes into consideration both what is legally and morally appropriate, and that even when it’s done, everybody is slightly unhappy with, you know you have the right plan,” said Governor Bevin.

Still, not everyone agrees.

Representative James Kay explains, state employees have suffered pay cuts, pay freezes and even furloughs.

He says, though the governor may not see it, the new plan is asking them to suffer, once again.

“State employees have sacrificed for years,” said Kay. “This plan is not only asking you to sacrifice again, it’s asking you to sacrifice for the rest of your life, and that’s not fair.”

The legislators encourage people to call Republican representatives and tell them how they feel, in hopes the plan may be re-thought.