On The Floor

CERS employer contribution phase-in finally passes

The long-awaited CERS employer contribution phase-in or “rate collar” was finally passed providing pension relief Kentucky counties desperately need.

Monday was a busy day at the Capitol with a lot of movement in the legislature as the session nears an end. The long-awaited CERS employer contribution phase-in or “rate collar” was finally passed. It will provide the pension relief Kentucky counties desperately needed in order to phase in, over a maximum of 10 years, the full increase in rates passed by the Kentucky Retirement System board last December.

Originally in Senate Bill 66, the language from that bill was inserted into House Bill 362. It states that your CERS employer contribution rate “shall not increase by more than twelve percent (12 percent) in terms of projected dollars paid by participating employers over the prior fiscal year…”. While this is still a significant increase for our members, the phase-in will allow county employers more time to plan for the full ARC (actuarially required contribution) payment.

This measure was one of KACo’s highest priorities. It was necessary to avoid the financial devastation some members were facing if the full ARC had been due and payable beginning July 1.

The bill was approved by the Senate 35-3, and the House voted 90-2.

We appreciate the work of Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel (R-23, Kenton) for filing the original bill and for leading the charge yesterday to make the phase-in a reality. We thank all legislators who supported county governments with their vote.

The bill now sits on the governor’s desk. He can sign it into law, or it can become law without his signature after 10 legislative days (all days of the week excluding Sundays) or he could veto the bill, in which case we will urge the General Assembly to override a veto of this critical legislation.

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