To the Editor:
All retired and active Letcher County teachers are urged to contact their legislators concerning these points:
1. Retired teachers want legislators to develop a plan to quit borrowing money from our retirement fund to pay for health insurance for retired teachers. The state has written IOU’s for the past six years and now owes Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) more than $500 million. They’re paying it back at 7.5 percent interest. The state could borrow this elsewhere at a lesser interest rate and KTRS could get a better return by investing the money.
2. Retired teachers don’t want any change in the governance of KTRS. The KTRS Board of Directors is now elected by retired teachers. Some politicians would like to appoint this board.
3. Retired teachers want our retirement to remain a defined benefit — not a contributed benefit. This has been a continuing battle that we can’t afford to lose. We need to remind our legislators and the governor there is no Social Security safety net for retired teachers as there is for other state workers.
Please talk, write, communicate with your legislators and remind them of the economic benefit retired teachers make to their district — over $9 million in Letcher County alone.
Also, all teachers should read the December 2009 KTRS newsletter. It’s a must to keep you informed.
Contacts: Senator Johnny Ray Turner, 85 KY Rt. 1101, Drift, Ky. 41619, (606) 377-6962; Leslie Combs, 245 E. Cedar Dr., Pikeville, Ky. 41501, (606) 477-6672; Ancel Smith, 1812 Wiley Fork Rd., Leburn, Ky. 41831, (606) 785-3844.
JOYCE F. WHITAKER President Letcher County Retired Teachers Association