Kentucky Retirement Systems

Politics
9:50 am
Wed July 16, 2014

In Lawsuit Response, Kentucky Pension System Argues Investments Were Legal

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The troubled Kentucky Retirement Systems pension is firing back at a lawsuit filed by a small Northern Kentucky town over what it alleges are “high risk investments."

In June, the city of Fort Wright — population 5,700 —filed a lawsuit against KRS over investments into Wall Street hedge funds with public money, seeking $50 million to cover the losses and to divorce its city and county employees from the state system.

Earlier: Kentucky City Sues State Pension System

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Local News
6:23 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Kentucky City Sues State Pension System Over Risky Investments

Credit File photo

A Kentucky city is suing the state's public pension system over its investment of county employees' retirement money into "risky" hedge funds. 

 An attorney for Ft. Wright, a northern Kentucky city of 5,700, filed a class-action lawsuit Monday alleging that Kentucky Retirement Systems improperly used money from one of its subsidiary funds to make investments that were illegal under state law. 

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Politics
4:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems Director: State's Pension Debt is $17 Billion

Credit File photo

Kentucky's state pension systems are slated to have to pay out more than $17 billion that the state doesn't have.

That's according to William Thielen, who is director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Thielen testified before lawmakers in Frankfort Monday. He says the state's various pension funds have only a fraction of what they need to pay all potential retirees.

Thielen says if lawmakers make good on a promise to fund the pensions with the recommend amount, called the ARC, it'll take a few years before the unfunded liability starts to drop.

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Politics
7:57 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Louisville Councilman Jerry Miller Urging City to Leave Kentucky Retirement System

Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19,
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Saying it could save the city millions, Republican Louisville Metro Councilman Jerry Miller is filing a resolution that seeks to remove the city from the Kentucky retirement system.

The non-binding measure will be considered later this week and requests the General Assembly revise state law to separate the County Employee Retirement System account from the overall state pension pool.

It also asks state lawmakers to give CERS an independent board from the Kentucky Employee Retirement System, which has been under a myriad of criticism for its management and financial woes over the past few years.

"Our costs continue to skyrocket in part because (the state system) is making decisions based on the KERS plan covering state employees, which is the second worst funded in the nation," says Miller.

The city's retirement costs have increased significantly over the past decade.

In 2004, pensions accounted for just over five percent of the city budget. Now about 15 percent of the Metro Government general fund is spent on retirement payments for public employees.

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Politics
3:15 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Whistleblower Disputes Retirement Officials on Placement Agent Claim

A whistleblower and former member of the Kentucky Retirement System’s board of trustees is disputing claims that the pension plan hasn’t used placement agents recently.

Chris Tobe is an investment expert who served on the system’s board for four years. He’s also the main witness in a Securities and Exchange Commissions investigation into KRS and its previous uses of placement agents.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Retirement Official Says Pensions Systems Haven't Used Controversial Placement Agents Recently

After being heavily criticized for their use, Kentucky’s major pension program says it hasn't used a placement agent for three years.

Placement agents are investing middle men that direct pension funds to investment opportunities. Kentucky has not had a good track record with placement agents, who have been accused of mismanaging millions for the pension funds according to a 2011 audit.

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Politics
3:36 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Pension Task Force Says Everything is "On the Table" at First Meeting

A group of Kentucky lawmakers has a new summer assignment…shoring up the state’s failing pension systems.

At least two of Kentucky’s six pension plans are at a high risk for failure. And their troubles have been highlighted by Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Pew Center.

In response, the state has formed a public pension task force. Co-chairman Mike Cherry says he's dedicated to find a solution, and it may not be pretty.

“From my standpoint, everything’s on the table for this summer interim session,” he says.

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