Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

A pension reform bill finally passed into law. It mostly affects new hires and keeps the system essentially the same for existing teachers. One of the major changes is that it requires new Kentucky teachers to participate in a "hybrid" plan which has elements of a traditional pension and a 401(k). Accumulated sick days can't be used toward retirement benefits.  And future teachers would need to be 65 with at least five years of service to get full benefits. Or they would need to be 57 years old and their combined age and years of service that add up to at least 87. The bill also allows the legislature to modify retirement benefits in the future. Of course, there's criticism, but it appears to be a good-faith effort to save the system and keep the state's promise to retirees.