Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
KTRS Funding Work Group Meets

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 17, 2015  
Contact Information:  Terry Sebastian
Jennifer Brislin
502-564-2611
 


KTRS Funding Work Group Meets
Work group to develop recommendations for improving the fiscal solvency of KTRS

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System Funding Work Group, created by Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order, began its work today to develop recommendations for improving the fiscal solvency of KTRS.

Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen welcomed the group members to the initial meeting and spoke about the importance and urgency of their task.

“If Kentucky is to compete for 21st-century jobs, we must have a world-class education system for our children – and the success of such a system is dependent upon the recruitment and retention of outstanding educational professionals,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “We’ve made too many recent strides – in job creation, health care access and education rankings – to risk losing these gains now if we’re aren’t able to fulfill our commitment to teachers, and continue attracting the best and brightest educators.”

Work group members discussed many factors influencing the long-term sustainability of the KTRS including investment policies and results, administrative costs, retirement benefits, and current and past system funding.

Gov. Beshear announced the work group June 16, designating former state senator and former State Board of Education Chairman David Karem as chairman of the 25-member panel.

In creating the group, Gov. Beshear said he recognizes that other study groups have examined the KTRS in recent years, but critical work is needed to explore options and develop recommendations to aid the 2016 General Assembly in taking action next spring to address this crisis.

According to the KTRS 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 options and make 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.

“While this is a difficult and challenging issue, the Governor is confident that, as has been demonstrated numerous times, we can put aside partisan politics and work collaboratively to find reasonable solutions to this issue,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said.

With the fiscal crisis that faces the KTRS, Gov. Beshear is asking the work group to complete its work and submit its report to him on or before Dec. 1, 2015.

Additional meetings are scheduled July 31, Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Sept. 25, Oct. 16, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20. More information is available at: http://governor.ky.gov/KTRS-Funding/Pages/default.aspx.

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