In 2018, teachers contributed 8.92 percent of their salary to the pension fund, while the state contributed 29.81 percent. This means that if a teacher leaves the TRS system, they can’t take their benefits with them, even if they continue working in the teaching profession. Teachers called in sick at schools statewide to protest at the Capitol.Sign up for one of our many newsletters to be the first to know when big news breaks“Assuming that contributions to the retirement trust are made by the state from year to year in the future as recommended by the actuary, TRS should have sufficient assets to provide all benefits due as defined by law to members,” TRS management wrote.After years of neglect by elected leaders, Bevin and the General Assembly have committed themselves to full pension funding since 2017. Teachers with at least 27 years of service can retire with their benefits at any age.Additionally, Kentucky allows early retirement for teachers at age 55 once they have accrued at least 10 years of service. While public employees such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers paid into their pension with each and every paycheck, lawmakers did not. However, not all of that investment goes toward benefits. The basic structure of Kentucky’s teacher defined benefit (DB) pension is similar to that of other states.
John Cheves is a government accountability reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader. This approach provides slightly more generous benefits to those teachers who serve the longest.Like most states, teachers need to serve a number of years before qualifying for a pension. In addition, those who have reached at least age 55 and have 27 or more years of service may use the average of their 3 highest annual salaries. In other words, the lack of benefit portability will hurt the long-term retirement savings of any educator who leaves teaching altogether or who crosses state lines to work in another state.As with most state pension funds, Kentucky's teacher retirement system provides the greatest benefits to teachers who stay the longest, while leaving everyone else with inadequate benefits. While the full 8.92 percent of salary contributed by individual teachers is for benefits, the state contributes only 5.61 percent.
Unlike other retirement funds, a teacher’s contributions and those made on their behalf by the state or school district do not determine the value of the pension at retirement. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly have made several attempts to reshape teacher retirement benefits in Kentucky, including legislation hastily passed at the end of the 2018 session, known as “the sewer bill,” that would have ended pensions for newly hired teachers. Those contribution rates are set by the state legislature and can change year-to-year. Robben said — … Real-time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand. However, Kentucky is unique and applies 5 different multipliers depending on the teacher's years of service. That particular plan, one of eight Kentucky public pension plans, reports it has only 12.9% of the assets needed to pay future benefits and other known obligations. However, teachers taking that option will have their benefits reduced based on their years of experience and how early they are retiring.As they work, teachers and their employers must contribute into the plan. The funding level for Kentucky’s teacher pension system rose in 2019 to 58.1 percent, up from 57.7 percent in 2018. Everything has gone up for the third straight year,” said Beau Barnes, TRS general counsel, on Monday.
As they work, teachers and their employers must contribute into the plan.
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