FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2017) — The Office of the State Budget Director today launched a comprehensive new website aimed at keeping Kentuckians informed, as the Bevin Administration works with state legislators to address the commonwealth’s public employee pension crisis.
Visitors to KentuckyPensions.com can obtain answers to frequently asked questions, view detailed reports and a glossary of key terms, follow the latest developments, and offer feedback.
“We hope that retirees, current state employees, and all Kentuckians will find this website to be a helpful, easy-to-navigate tool,” said State Budget Director John Chilton. “As we address this vital and complex issue, we want to educate the public, dispel myths, and set the stage for constructive dialogue. We will continue to update the website as things progress.”
Gov. Matt Bevin will call a special session of the General Assembly this fall to tackle the commonwealth’s $64 billion unfunded pension liability, which averages out to a staggering $15,000 per Kentuckian.
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has ranked Kentucky’s pensions as the worst underfunded in the nation—with just 37.4 percent of the state’s total current obligations funded, compared to a national median of 74.6 percent.
With $7 billion in negative cash flow over the past decade, Kentucky’s pension spending has been increasing nearly five times as fast as revenues. This effectively reduces money available for other important budgetary priorities such as K-12 education, Medicaid, and infrastructure.
The commonwealth has three major public pension systems — Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky (TRS), and the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System (KJFRS) — which collectively administer eight distinct retirement plans.
Using prior funding patterns, experts conclude that Kentucky Employees Retirement System, Non-Hazardous (KERS-NH), will run completely out of money by the year 2022.