Panel to suggest ways to strengthen public pension plan for teachers, retirees
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 16, 2015) — In an effort to strengthen the solvency of the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS), Gov. Steve Beshear today by executive order created a 23-member work group made up of policy and education leaders.
The Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System Funding Work Group, to be led by former state senator and former State Board of Education Chairman David Karem, will meet over the coming months to develop recommendations to resolve a funding shortfall and stabilize and secure funding for the system that serves over 75,000 active and over 45,000 retired members.
According to the system’s 2014 actuarial valuation, there is a $14 billion unfunded liability and a 53.6 percent funding status. This is compared with the system’s $571 million unfunded liability and 95.7 percent funding status in 2000.
The work group will review best practices in other states regarding pension benefits, conduct a comprehensive review of funding options and make recommendations for improving the fiscal solvency of the KTRS. The work group may also contract for consulting services.
With the fiscal crisis that faces the KTRS, Beshear is asking the work group to complete its work and submit its report to him on or before Dec. 1.
The members of the working group are:
- David Karem, former state senator and former chair of the Kentucky Board of Education
- David Adkisson, CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Mike Armstrong, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association
- Jason Bailey, research and policy director for the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
- Mary Ann Blankenship, executive director of the Kentucky Education Association
- State Budget Director Jane Driskell
- Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen, who shall serve as a nonvoting member
- Amanda Ellis, associate commissioner, Office of Next Generation Learners in the Kentucky Department of Education
- Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet Lori Flanery
- Gary Harbin, executive secretary of the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
- State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, who is also a board member of Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
- Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet Mary Lassiter
- Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet Timothy Longmeyer
- Roger Marcum, chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education
- Brent McKim, Jefferson County Teachers’ Association president
- Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
- Dr. Tom Shelton, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
- Dr. Bob Wagoner, executive director of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association
- Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators
- Two members of the Kentucky State Senate designated by the President of the Senate
- Two members of the Kentucky House of Representatives designated by the Speaker of the House.