Pension Meeting Follow Up

Thanks to the ALMOST 100 parents, teachers, and community members who joined us last night for the informational session about the proposed pension plan. We hope that you found the information compelling and that you are inspired to seek out additional information as you form your opinions about the plan.

A number of documents and materials were referenced during the meeting. Some are available now and some will be released in the near future. As documents are made available to the public, we will post them here for your reference.

DOCUMENTS:

 

Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) “Shared Responsibility” Plan

At the pension informational meeting last week Supt. Ransdell shared that the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) would soon be releasing an alternative CERS/TRS “Shared Responsibility” pension reform proposal which had already been shared with several legislative leaders and that had the support of several organizations.  Today at a press conference the Shared Responsibility Plan was released.  The CERS and TRS components of the proposal are now available.

Dr. Ransdell reports that representatives from the Boone County Education Association, the Council for Better Education, the Jefferson County Teachers Association, the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, the Kentucky Education Association, the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, and the Kentucky School Boards Association have all expressed support for the plan.

When asked why she supports the Shared Responsibility Plan, Dr. Ransdell replied that she appreciates all the work our legislators are doing to arrive at a solution to the pension crisis and appreciates the funding that was allocated last budget cycle for the unfunded pension liability.  She listed the following as reasons she supports the Shared Responsibility Plan which was released today:

  • The Shared Responsibility plan recognizes that the public pensions are actuarially underfunded and that the status quo cannot be continued.
  • The Shared Responsibility plan honors the inviolable contract yet at the same time makes sacrificial compromises to contribute to the strengthening of the pension plan.  A new tier of benefits would be included for future employees that would achieve actuarial savings from the current pension system. However, the new tier of benefits remain as a defined benefit plan which is important to recruiting and retaining highly-qualified teachers and support staff.
  • Such a “Shared Responsibility Plan” was proven to work in 2009-10 with the retired teacher health insurance fund and will work in this situation.
  • The current unfunded pension liability must be paid regardless of the plans submitted, which include the Shared Responsibility Plan or the Governor’s Plan. This must be accomplished through new revenue, budget reductions, or some combination thereof. The Shared Responsibility Plan, as described, will be no costlier than the Governor’s Plan, when all factors are considered. The Shared Responsibility Plan also eliminates risk from the state.
  • The Governor’s Plan brings with it likely potential for legal litigation, which would lead to unnecessary costs and risks for the state and would additionally create unhealthy discord in Kentucky. This new solution honors the inviolable contract and alleviates these issues while providing solvency in the pension funds.
  • This plan encourages experienced staff to continue working rather than retire when they reach a certain year or number of years of experience.
  • Public education is an investment in the future of our citizenry and for the economic vitality of Kentucky. Our children are the most worthy investment of our time, talents and treasure.

Dr. Ransdell also wanted to remind everyone to feel free to contact her if they have questions or would like additional information regarding how either plan would impact APS.  She can be reached at 502.245.8927 (work) or kelley.ransdell@anchorage.kyschools.us.