Pension reform bill could affect WKU employees

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A new bill filed in the Kentucky House of Representatives could bring changes to retirement benefits for employees at Western Kentucky University.

According to a release from WKU, the proposed legislation protects current participants in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System, or KERS. Employees will have the option to remain with KERS and to accrue retirement benefits for the remainder of their WKU employment, or they have the option to change to what is called the optional retirement plan, or ORP. ORP is a definied contribution plan established under section 403-b of the IRS code.

Currently, the extraordinary rise in employer contribution costs under the KERS system has created serious budget challenges for participating state universities, including WKU. Unless the legislature enacts pension reform this session, WKU will see an additional $7 million charge in next year’s budget.

To view the full House Bill 358, please click here.