KY Legislators Fail to Reach Agreement on Pension Reform

April 7, 2008 ( - A Kentucky General Assembly committee failed to reach an agreement on a pension reform bill designed to address the system's $26.6 billion shortfall before leaving for an 11-day recess.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the committee from both chambers charged with working on the final bill could continue negotiations during the legislative veto period, but any bill passed after that could be vetoed and legislators would not be able to override it. The committee is unable to agree on which version of the bill – Senate or House – to work from.

Senate negotiators say the House is not offering as many compromises as they have. The Senate version of the bill made deeper cuts to future hires’ benefits and called for the creation of an annuity savings plan for new hires (See KY Senate Passes Out Pension Reform Measure ) – an idea the House strongly rejects, according to the Enquirer.

“We feel the defined-benefit plan is the only acceptable retirement plan for our employees,” said Representative Mike Cherry, who is co-chairman of the committee negotiating the bill, according to the news report. The House version of the bill calls for a greater years-of-service requirement for retirement, among other things (See KY Plan to Boost Pensions Increases Years of Service Requirement ).