Ky. educators fear the worst after Bevin's pension plan announcement

It's a pension plan that Governor Bevin says he has the votes to pass in Kentucky, others aren't so sure.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- One week after Governor Bevin announced his plan to save the pension system, educators are speaking out with their concerns about the plan he calls "Keeping the Promise".

"I think there's a great deal of anxiety on the part of teachers," Jefferson County Teacher’s Association President Brent McKim said.

Some local educators worry what they've worked for is in jeopardy.

In a letter to lawmakers, Moore High School Principal Rob Fulk said, "Whether or not you or the previous body of legislators have mismanaged, underfunded, or otherwise kicked the can down the road is immaterial to me, my teachers, my classified folks, and any else in education.  We have done our part."

McKim said, "There are a lot of concerns on the part of teachers that several aspects of the plan are not consistent with the inviolable contract and in fact would abrogate the contract."

State employees said that contract, outlined within state law, guarantees they get the benefits they were promised when they were hired.

Bevin's plan says current employees can pay into their pension until they reach 27 years of teaching, at which point they would switch over to a 401K style retirement fund. Future teachers would start out with that.

"When we already have lower salaries than the surrounding states, when you also couple that with probably the worst retirement package for new teachers it’s going to make it extremely hard to attract and keep good teachers," McKim said.

Experts claim that is potentially the greatest downfall of the plan, putting the future of state's educators in jeopardy and in turn, the future of the state's education system.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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