Proposed legislation stirs employment dispute over pensions

One of the most popular incentives for those who seek positions in the public sector is the possibility of securing a reliable pension plan. Unfortunately, many states and companies are having difficulty meeting the demands that these retirement benefits place on stressed budgets. There have been many employment disputes concerning cuts to retirement plans involving California workers over recent years.

Recently, one state's lawmakers proposed a bill that would ease some of the strain that its pension system is currently experiencing. However, due to proposed reductions in the cost of living adjustments and a few other changes, teachers and other public workers are protesting the potential cuts in their benefits. The system is projected to only be funded at an estimated 55 percent, and the cuts would be in place until it reaches a 90 percent funding level.

The current COLA is set at 1.75 percent. The new bill would reduce that to 1 percent. Along with that adjustment, teachers would be encouraged to put in more years in an effort to avoid mass retirements at the predetermined retirement age. In addition, while teachers would still receive a cash incentive for unused sick time, they would no longer be permitted to roll those payments into their retirement benefits.

Kentucky lawmakers believe that the new bill would allow them to meet taxpayers' expectations that the system is self-sustainable without relying on increased tax payers' contributions. However, teachers and other workers are concerned that the cuts will have a negative impact on their income and pension benefits. Any time California workers face a proposed reduction in pay or benefits, they are entitled to seek an agreeable resolution to the ensuing employment dispute through the assistance of a skilled employment law attorney.

Source: westkentuckystar.com, "Pension dispute lacks fact not funding", Jim Waters, March 7, 2018

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