Teachers retirement pension ensures quality in classroom

Published 11:38 am Friday, September 15, 2017

Dear Editor,

This is written in response to the letter from Gov. Bevin, Speaker of the House Hoover and President of the Senate Stivers which was published in The Interior Journal on September 7, 2017.

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The Teacher’s Retirement System of Kentucky is a separate entity from the other state pension plans and is in better shape financially than the other plans.  TRS was established in 1938 to provide a retirement income for Kentucky’s teachers.  It is governed by a non-partisan board of trustees elected by active and retired teachers.  In 2017, the state legislature gave the governor the power to appoint two board members to TRS.

Kentucky’s teachers have never and do NOT now participate in the Social Security system. Therefore, the teachers’ retirement pension is the only income for most of Kentucky’s retired teachers.  The economic impact across the state of the retirement income of thousands of retired teachers is very significant. 

It doesn’t matter how many buildings there are or what condition those buildings are in if we don’t have quality teachers in the classroom.  One way to ensure that quality is to keep the teachers retirement pension as a viable part of any teacher’s compensation package.  Teachers and their local boards of education pay into TRS out of every pay check in good faith that the pension will be there when they need it.  Some of the proposed changes coming from the private consulting firm (PFM) hired by the state will destroy the benefits that retired teachers have now and will jeopardize the benefits of teachers who are currently in the classroom. 

Please help the teachers of Kentucky save their pension benefits by contacting your legislators NOW and let them know you support your local teachers, both active and retired.  After all, if you can read this, thank a teacher!

Thank you for your support.

Martha R. Francis

Legislative Chairperson

Lincoln County Retired Teachers Association