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Kentucky Health Departments Face Tough Choices After Passage Of Pension Bill


Kentucky’s health departments are facing tough choices after the passage of Governor Matt Bevin’s pension bill last week Lisa Gillespie has more.

Health departments currently pay the equivalent of 49 percent of the salaries of employees to the pension system. But that was set to skyrocket to 84 percent of the salaries this month. 

Now, that big increase has been pushed off for another year. 

Allison Adams is the president of the Kentucky Public Health Association and Director at the Buffalo Trace District Health Department.

She says she’s relieved health departments have another year to figure out what’s financially feasible. 

“We just needed one more year to really understand our resources and make sure that we had the right staffing and to meet this higher costs for our pension.” 

Employees hired since 2014 have already been moved into 401k-type plans. County health departments will now have the option to remove workers from the pension system altogether – freezing their pension benefits-- and pay a large lump sum.

Or, they could stay in the system and pay the higher rate.

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Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter. Most recently, she was a reporter for Kaiser Health News. During her career, Gillespie has covered all things health — from Medicaid and Medicare payment policy and rural hospital closures to science funding and the dietary supplement market.
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