Standard & Poor's has downgraded Kentucky's economic outlook from stable to poor because of its under-funded retirement system, a move that will continue to make business leaders uncomfortable unless lawmakers come up with a sweeping plan to overhaul the pension system.
According to The Louisville Courier-Journal
, S&P cited unfunded pension liabilities totaling more than $33 billion for all of Kentucky's retirement systems combined.
State Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson told the newspaper that continued inaction on the pension program increases the likelihood of higher business and individual taxes. He said if the 2013 legislative session ends without meaningful pension reform, the state business community will have no other choice "but to call the 2013 session a failure.”
Business interests in the state are so concerned that they've formed a coalition to pressure legislators into passing an overhaul plan that requires full-funding of annual retirement contributions, repeals automatic cost-of-living adjustments, and creates a hybrid retirement plan for future employees.
As a result of the concerns, some lawmakers are planning to file reform measures next week.
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