Pension Fund Sparks Lively Discussion at Lexington Forum
By Brenna Angel
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lexington's Police and Fire Pension Fund was the hot topic at Thursday's meeting of the Lexington Forum. Brenna Angel reports on what both sides had to say.
Councilmember Doug Martin came armed with a packet of information about the Lexington Police & Fire Pension Fund, which has an unfunded liability of $200 million. Martin says the fund should be closed to new employees and benefits should be adjusted.
"No one wants to upset the police and fire unions. But if we don't a handle on this, the city is going to end up filing bankruptcy, whether in five years or ten years."
But Fraternal Order of Police member Rob Sarrantonio says it was the government that created the problems with retirement fund.
"We've been giving to this pension, every employee, legally what we had to 11 percent. But since the early 90s the city has never contributed the amount that they were supposed to contribute."
Lexington is the only government entity in Kentucky that oversees its own pension system for police and firefighters. However, any changes must be approved by the state legislature, not the Urban County Council.