Referring to the state’s unfunded pension liability as a dark cloud over Frankfort, Kentucky Chamber President & CEO Dave Adkisson stressed the importance of oversight to the Public Pension Oversight Committee last week. With billions of dollars at stake, Adkisson suggested the committee strongly consider contracting with a professional investment firm to help provide adequate oversight of the investment of public dollars. His comments followed a formal presentation of the investment returns, which indicated the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) investment returns were lower than other benchmark funds for the last ten years.
Legislators passed a significant pension reform bill last year that will help with long-term costs. While 2013’s Senate Bill 2 was a tremendous step toward solvency; legislators must continue to meet their annual pension obligation or risk falling further behind. Not only does this strain concern retirees counting on their pension payments, it also makes it more difficult to fund the state’s priorities like education. Legislators funded the required payment for KRS, but were unable to meet the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) funding request. Both business and individual taxpayers are watching closely to ensure legislators continue their commitment to restoring solvency to the pension systems.