A new report from State Budget Solutions demonstrates what Kentuckians have known for years: fundamental reform must be made to our public pension systems if Kentucky is to remain a competitive state for business investment and economic growth.
According to the new report, titled “Promises Made, Promises Broken – The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers,” Kentucky ranks No. 3 for least funded public pension system in the nation at a measly 27 percent. Only Illinois and Connecticut have retirement plans less funded than the Bluegrass State’s.
Using “fair-market” rates of return on investment – based on 15-year treasury rates instead of the ludicrously arbitrary 8 percent rate generally used in official state reporting – State Budget Solutions finds that Kentucky has amassed more than $71 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. That’s 41 percent of Kentucky’s economic output in 2012, and more than twice the $34 billion figure we hear on our local news reports.
To gain even more perspective, to pay off that debt, each man, woman, and child in the commonwealth would have to fork over more than $16,000 just to cover the existing debt.
This is just one of the issues which Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions, will discuss on Thursday September 12 in Frankfort at an event co-hosted by the Bluegrass Institute, Mercatus Center, and State Budget Solutions. Along with Williams, Maurice McTigue, QSO, vice-president for outreach at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, will also discuss solutions to Kentucky’s budgetary woes, and preview the upcoming 2014 legislative session.
So come on out to luncheon event on Thursday, Sept. 12, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Capital Plaza, 405 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601, to hear what you can do to dig Kentucky out of its $71 billion debt hole!