State officials will try to answer questions about Kentucky’s ailing retirement system at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Mercer County Intermediate School cafeteria.
State Sen. Tom Buford, Rep. Kim King and Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler will try to answer questions. Other state officials may also attend, said Carrie Mays, president of the Mercer County Education Association, who are holding the discussion.
Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) administers eight different retirement plans which cover nearly 500,000 state and local government employees—everyone from the governor down to the dogcatcher. The largest program, Kentucky Teachers Retirement Systems, has 51,563 retired teachers drawing benefits while 71,848 currently active teachers are paying in. KRS administrators have informed the General Assembly they need at least $5.4 billion in the next state budget to keep the pension systems funded.
Last year, the bond rating firm Standard and Poor’s ranked Kentucky’s pension funds as the worst-funded of any state in the nation. As a whole, KRS only has 37.4 percent of the money it needs to honor its obligations to retirees. The one that covers most state government retirees is considered the worst-funded public pension plan in America with less than 16 percent of the money needed to honor its obligations.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.