Changes to state pension system discussed at Harlan County High School

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HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - State Representative Chris Fugate held a meeting at Harlan county High School Tuesday evening to talk about potential changes coming to the state pension system.

With more than thirty teachers in attendance, the focus of the meeting was to dispel myths surrounding potential changes and to hear feedback from those approaching retirement age.

"There are just a lot of rumors going around that are untrue that are just being spread by people causing a panic amongst the teachers and other state and county workers", said State Representative Chris Fugate.

Fugate said that while the state does not have enough money to fund the state pension system, changes to the retirement wages and sick day credits are not part of any proposal he has seen.

"There has to be some give and take", said State Representative Chris Fugate. "The pension system is in a mess. Governor Bevin has been a leader in trying to see that this gets fixed and not just put off."

Because the proposal is still being worked on by state officials, Fugate could not provide details on what changes might be coming. Some teachers in attendance left with more question than answers.

"Really it didn't help a bit as far as helping us know", said Cawood Elementary School teacher Donnie Britton. "We just know that there's going to have to be a change because of the deficit in the pension system."

Other teachers felt thankful for the open lines of communication with state representatives.

"I appreciated his genuineness and how caring and kind he was to all the teachers there", said Harlan County High School teacher Emmanuel Anama-Green. "He said that he would let us know when he knew. We might not know all the answers now but eventually we'll find something out."

Representative Fugate said the official proposal for changes to the state pension system will be released as early as October. He will post future meetings on his Facebook page and you can contact him directly with any questions or concerns.

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