Here is the lastest, most up-to-date information from the JCTA, KEA and NEA offices. To read our Action newsletter, just click on the tab at the top.




2018 Legislative Session Information
 

The 2018 Kentucky General Assembly’s Legislative Session has been filled with significant legislation, including what felt like a rollercoaster of ups and downs during the final three weeks of the Session.  JCTA was present, on the ground, lobbying legislators and advocating for not only Kentucky’s public education, in general, but Jefferson County Teacher Association members, in particular.  Throughout this time period, JCTA kept members informed of the details within key bills with articles, charts, and videos that were shared on social media and sent out in all-member emails. These informational pieces have been collected and posted here for easy reference:

 

 VIDEOS: 

 

  • SB151 JCTA President Brent McKim summarizes Senate Bill 151, the pension bill, passed by the Kentucky General Assembly on March 29, 2018.

  •       Pension Video Series:

o    KY Pensions (Part 1) Chronology - This is the first in a series of videos discussing recent events impacting the Teachers Retirement System of Kentucky by JCTA President Brent McKim. 

o   KY Pensions (Part 2) What's not in SB15-Part 2 discusses numerous harmful provisions in previous versions of the pension bill that were removed through the effective engagement of JCTA/KEA members and their allies.

o   KY Pensions (Part 3) Changes for Current Active Teachers-Part 3 discusses the only change in SB151 that effects current active teachers.

o   KY Pensions (Part 4) Changes for Current Retirees-Part 4 discusses the provisions in SB151 that will affect current retirees and current active teachers who retire on or after January 1, 2019.

o   KY Pensions (Part 5) Changes for Future Teachers-Part 5 explains the Cash Balance Hybrid plan for future teachers hired after January 1, 2019.

o   KY Pensions (Part 6) Other SB151 Provisions-In this final video of the series, other miscellaneous provisions in SB151 are discussed.

ARTICLES:

·      

CHARTS:

·      Key Jefferson County Votes in 2018 Legislative Session

·      Comparison of 3 Main Pension Bills:




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Job Opportunity: Silver Spoon Catering
 




Changes to Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) Calculator
 

The COLA Suspension Calculator calculates your total losses over the course of your expected lifetime as a result of having the cost-of-living adjustment suspended for five years at the beginning of your retirement.  The following calculator is written in Microsoft Excel and is required for use:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD




Shared Responsibility (Pension) Plan to be Presented
 

              Shared Responsibility Plan to be presented: Plan proposes viable alternatives to Governor’s pension reform proposal
 
Kentucky education leaders will host a joint press release at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, November 6, 2017 at Woodford County High School, 180 Frankfort St, Versailles, KY 40383 to present alternatives to a public pension reform plan that has been presented by the office of Gov. Matt Bevin.
 
The Shared Responsibility Plan is designed to address challenges and financial shortcomings of the current state employee pension fund while also ensuring the long-term stability of the many areas of public service that provide the foundation for life in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Those include the areas of public education, law enforcement and emergency response, and all aspects of city and county government, such as roads and infrastructure, municipal utilities and judicial processes.
 
Dr. Tom Shelton, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, said the Shared Responsibility Plan demonstrates the willingness of the state’s education organizations and members to implement changes that will strengthen the pension program and maintain its sustainability.
 
“We must protect the ability of public education to recruit and retain quality educators,” Shelton said. “Teachers and education professionals build the foundation upon which every other area of public life in Kentucky stands. We often hear that children are the future, and that is true, but it is also true that as leaders, we stand at a pivotal moment in time as the decisions we make today will directly impact the future of our children.”
 
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 Association of School Superintendents, the Kentucky Education Association, the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, the Kentucky School Boards Association, and others will share highlights of a Shared Responsibility Plan, which has been presented to state legislative leadership in draft format for their consideration as an alternative to a plan previously released by Gov. Bevin. The Governor is expected to call a special session that will consider changes to the existing state employee pension program.
 
To read the public draft of the Shared Responsibility Pension Plan from today's press conference, click here.




What We Know About Gov. Bevin's Proposed Pension Changes
 

What We Know About Governor Bevin’s Proposed Pension Changes (updated 10-26-2017)

The only information regarding the proposed changes to Kentucky’s public employee pension plans released by the Governor were a number of very general talking points.  Until we have the language of an actual bill, we cannot answer many specific questions.
 
What we do know or can conclude from the released talking points and conversations with policymakers is the Governor’s plan would...
 
Positives:
 
1. Not encourage current teachers to retire due to plan changes for at least the next three years.
 
2. Increase the state’s payments to TRS to address the unfunded liability.
 
3. Continue current retiree Medicare supplemental insurance benefits.
 
Negatives:
 
1. Close the current TRS Defined Benefit (DB) plan to new hires, which would force the TRS DB plan into more and more conservative investments over time, lowering its rate of return, and increasing the state’s required payment by $170 million every year, compared to keeping the DB plan open to new hires.  This further destabilizes the DB plan for current teachers and makes it $170 million per year harder for the state to dig out of the Unfunded Liability hole it is in.
 
2. Force all new hires into a Defined Contribution (DC) plan with higher required employee payments, much lower total employer payments, and no guaranteed retirement benefits - making it much harder to attract and keep quality teachers in Kentucky schools.  (It is not clear whether this new plan would be administered by TRS or would be separated from TRS and administered by some other entity. It is also not clear whether educators in the new DC plan would have any disability coverage or post-retirement medical coverage.)
 
3. Violate the “Inviolable Contract” by cutting retirement benefits for all current and retired teachers by more than 7.5% by freezing for five years the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) that teachers themselves have pre-funded with their own money and are entitled to immediately upon retirement.
 
4. Reduce the state’s annual statutory contribution toward teacher retirement benefits from its current minimum of about 16% of a teacher’s salary to a flat 4% of a teacher’s salary.
 
5. Further tax the cash-strapped budgets of local school districts by forcing them to pay an additional 2% of every new teacher’s salary into the new Defined Contribution (DC) plan.  This money will come straight out of funds that would otherwise be used for students.
 
6. Reduce all teacher salaries by 3% by (completely unnecessarily) increasing the required payment to the TRS Medical Insurance Fund (MIF) by 3%.  (This is on top of the 3% increased payment added in the 2010 Shared Responsibility Bill, which already fully funds the needed payments for the MIF.  So this is essentially a new 3% tax, just for educators.)
 
7. Violate the “Inviolable Contract” by eventually by not honoring the inviolably protected 2.5% multiplier.
 
8. Violate the “Inviolable Contract” by eventually forcing all current teachers into DC plans.
 
9. Violate teachers’ constitutionally-protected property rights to the value of their currently earned unused sick days by not recognizing unused sick day payments for pension purposes after 2023.
 
10. Eliminate, after three years, the 3.0 multiplier for teachers who retire with more than 30 years of service.
 
11. Eliminate, after five years, retirement based a teacher’s high three years of service (instead of high five years of service) for teachers who retire at age 55 or later with at least 27 years of service.
 
So, while many details remain to be determined, it is clear that the proposed bill will include changes that will, overall, harm the retirement security of Kentucky’s dedicated educators, and we do not need all the details of the bill to know this plan will take Kentucky in the wrong direction.  It is virtually certain to entangle Kentucky in multiple expensive legal challenges which the Commonwealth is likely to lose, worsening the TRS funding dilemma.  It will make it harder to attract and keep the quality teachers our students deserve.  For these and many other reasons, every educator needs to call the legislative hotline and ask their elected officials to reject the plan outlined by the Governor.  Tell them to go back to the drawing board and start with a plan to fund the Unfunded Liability.
 
It you don’t like what’s in this plan, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!!!
 
Legislative Message Line
(800) 372-7181

Click HERE to watch JCTA President Brent McKim's interview on "Pure Politics".




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