Kentucky at an important crossroad. The decisions the state makes now will determine whether our teachers, who work so hard to educate and support our children, are able to live independently and with dignity in retirement.
AARP believes any proposal should consider the importance of teacher recruitment and retention for the children of the Commonwealth. Considering the struggle many states are going to attract and retain qualified teachers, it’s imperative that Kentucky keep its defined benefit pension plan and make its promised payments, on time and in full.
The current proposal would abandon Kentucky’s commitments to both our teachers and our children by moving new teachers to a defined contribution plan, rather than preserving a defined benefit pension. In this type of plan, teacher retirement will be far less secure and taxpayers will be paying much more for much less.
If Kentucky goes this route, it is likely to lose teachers with great potential to those states willing to promote retirement security for all teachers. At a time when it is essential that our children have the skills necessary to compete in a continuously changing economic, social, and technological environment, we should not desert our most trusted resource – our educators.
AARP looks forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that the state of Kentucky keeps the promise we made to our teachers. It’s a promise we can’t afford to break.