The March 20 editorial called for publishing a database listing the pension income retirees receive from the Kentucky Retirement Systems, but our pensions mainly come from our money, paid for the work we did and services we provided to citizens. How much we receive is no one’s business but our own.
State employees and retirees are not and never have been in a union, and contribute 5 percent of their salaries into that pension system every year. Some of us have done so every year for more than 30 years.
State workers and retirees did not underfund KERS. Past governors and legislators did the vast majority of it over the last quarter century, to the tune of $3 billion to $4 billion (plus interest and dividends). Employee contributions — and the interest and dividends from them — make up 70 to 80 percent of what we retirees have drawn until now. If state officials had lived up to their fiduciary responsibility in the past, they would not have to increase the amount they must pay into the system now.
The Herald-Leader and Kentucky Chamber Commerce should not have any more right to know how much pension each of us draws than we have to know the salaries of their executives and employees.