Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Kentucky's pension system has been in trouble for a long time. Now, Democratic candidate for governor Andy Beshear is proposing to legalize casinos and dedicate the revenue to fix the system. However, the problem according to analysts is not one of revenue, but rather the problem is structural. In some cases state employees can retire after only 27 years of service—at any age. This means that retirees can draw a check in their 40's. With longer life expectancy, this means recipients can receive a pension for more years than they've actually worked. This is a structural problem that the state's Public Pension Oversight Board was reminded of us last week and it will only add to the state's soaring pension costs. If the state is to keep its promise to retirees then some changes need to be made.