According to actuaries, pension benefits for members of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System’s non-hazardous retirement plan are only 27.3 percent funded this year, compared with 33.3 percent in 2011.
The plan, which was 113.2 percent funded and one of the most robust in the nation in 2000, “might now be the most poorly funded pension plan of its kind in the nation,” wrote reporter Mike Wynn, citing Tom Cavanaugh, CEO of Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, which conducted the annual valuation.
Recent Bluegrass Institute reports show the health of each pension fund on a year-by-year basis since 2000.
Several steps could be taken during the upcoming legislative session to begin addressing the crisis, including eliminating politicians’ pensions — theirs are the best funded; transparency to drive urgency to address abuses, including double- and triple-dipping; and purging public pension rolls of any workers at private-sector companies who currently are eligible for a taxpayer-funded pension.
Frankfort’s politicians are largely responsible for creating Kentucky’s pension predicament, and they will have to fix it.