By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — A fix for Lexington’s ailing police and fire pension fund cleared its first hurdle Thursday in the Kentucky General Assembly.
The House State Government Committee unanimously approved House Bill 430, which would implement changes to cut the plan’s unfunded liability from $296 million to $160 million.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, would require the city to increase its contribution to the retirement fund by $9 million a year. Police officers and firefighters would also pay more of their salaries into the pension fund.
Retirement benefits would be trimmed in several ways, including smaller cost-of-living adjustments for some retirees, smaller base pensions for disability retirements and a reduced payout formula for new hires. Future employees would be expected to work longer before they retired.
The bill is a compromise that hammered out between city officials, police and fire unions and retirees. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.