More secrecy: Kentucky’s public pension system refuses to shine the light on its investment practices
Two recent examples of government secrecy show that Kentucky is a long way from having the kind of transparency in its government institutions that will bring real accountability to taxpayers footing the bill:
Not only are the double-and-triple dippers in Kentucky’s public pension system protected from public scrutiny, so are its investment practices.
The Kentucky Retirement Systems — which provides pension and health-care benefits for more than 340,000 present and future pubic retirees — recently denied an Open Records Act request by the Lexington Herald-Leader seeking information on the fees the system paid in 2013 to individual investment managers. This even though the KRS reported investment that fell way short of its benchmarks and promised 7.75 percent rate of return.
Government-types want you to think this issue is too complicated for the average citizen to understand, and that releasing information on the tens of millions of dollars that went to the managers of risky investment funds and their managers would somehow or other hurt the system.
But actually, it seems to be the secrecy that is harming the system. Today’s Lexington Herald-Leader offers some recent examples of how that is happening.
The Bluegrass Institute continues to promote transparency in all aspects of the public pension system,including the policy in Rep. Jim Wayne’s bill during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly that would have shed the light on KRS investments and would ban questionable practices such as placement agents — which have made tens of millions of dollars off Kentucky retirement investment funds, even when those funds did not perform at promised levels.