Kentucky Retirement System Executive Director Thielen calls off retirement, agrees to new contract

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According to the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS), Executive Director Bill Thielen will continue as head of the retirement system. The announcement comes after Thielen said in April he would be retiring at the end of the year. 
In a Facebook post, KRS announced that Thielen and the Kentucky Retirement System’s board reached an agreement to keep Thielen on as executive director in a special Oct. 23 meeting. 

The new contract will be effective starting Dec. 1, 2015 and will continue through June 30, 2018. Thielen will be paid an increased annual salary of $215,000. 

According to an RFP job search document, the current salary for the KRS executive director was set at $169,488. The same document also stated that the system expected to pay a new director a salary within a $205,000 to $250,000 range after review of a “fairly recent compensation study.” 

In a statement about the decision, KRS Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Elliott noted Thielen’s time with the system–beginning in 2006 before being named interim executive director in 2011 and then appointed to the post in 2012–as a reason the system felt he should postpone his retirement as the pension plan continues to struggle with severe underfunding. 

“Thielen’s experience with KRS, including his extensive background with the Kentucky legislative process, makes this a much better option during these challenging times than bringing in a new, much less experienced KRS executive director,” Elliott said. 

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Jacqueline Pitts
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