A bill in the Kentucky Legislature, aimed at alleviating $3.6 billion in unfunded pension liabilities of the $16 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems, Frankfort, and changing retirement benefits for future hires, is stalled in the state House, confirmed Jennifer Brislin, communications director for state House Speaker Jody Richard. House members support issuing about $830 million in pension bonds, but changing the benefits of future employees is in contention, Ms. Brislin said. According to the bill, which was approved in the state Senate last week, employees hired after July 1, 2008, would be able to contribute only 2.5% to their defined benefit plan, compared with 5% before, with the option of putting another 2.5% into a defined contribution plan.
The legislative session is scheduled to end March 27, Ms. Brislin said, adding that House members are adamant about studying those changes in the interim and coming back to vote on it in the next session, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 8. But Gov. Ernie Fletcher has said he will convene a special session if an agreement is not reached now, confirmed his press secretary, Jodi Whitaker.