PIKEVILLE, Ky. (May 14, 2013) – Those who draw pensions account for $6.4 billion worth of income across the state.
Survivor benefits, disability from former employers, labor unions and the military, and from federal, state and local governments accounted for just over $270 million of income in Pike County during the study period, or $54 million a year, according to the American Community Survey Estimate for 2007-2011 shows income from pensions.
The information was released by the Pike County Judge/Executive’s office on Tuesday.
Pike County had a total household income of just over $1.2 billion from 2007-2011, according to the survey. Around $190 million of that income was from Social Security and $80 million from retirement. The numbers do not reflect payments made to 5,381 retired Kentuckians living out of state.
“Pike County’s retirees don’t put their checks in a drawer and forget about them,” said Wayne T. Rutherford, Pike County Judge-Executive. “They must use it for daily living expenses, and to pay taxes. The money goes right back into our economy, which means financial stability for the retiree and economic growth for Pike County.”
Around 22 percent of all 27,000 households in Pike County receive either social security or retirement benefits. The Kentucky Teachers Retirement System, the state’s largest, has 833 recipients totaling $28 million in payouts in Pike County, by far the most of any rural county in the state, according to the survey.
“Understanding the economic impact of pension spending is critical as our economy struggles to recover and create jobs,” Rutherford said. “The secure monthly income provided by pensions can act as an ‘automatic stabilizer.’ Pike County residents with a reliable pension check can continue spending on food, housing and medicine even during tough economic times.”
Virgil Osborne, president of the Pike County Retired Teachers’ Association, said teachers put a lot of money into the economy.
“Pike County has a lot of people, so in turn we have a lot of schools and a lot of schools,” he said. “As a result, we have a lot of retired teachers who draw a significant amount of pension money and infuse it back into the economy.”
Just over a thousand residents received a total of $13.6 million in payouts from the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) in fiscal year 2012 alone.