News Release: Funding a minor contributor to pension crisis

For Release: Monday, March 5, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) –– “Inadequate funding” is a popular claim often repeated by defenders of the status quo regarding Kentucky’s $65 billion public-pension crisis. However, facts assign a much-larger role to the failure of the retirement systems’ benefit structures to protect the commonwealth against risks and costs of crushing liabilities.…

News Release: Solid leadership results in pension bill offering needed reforms during election year

For Release: Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Senate Bill 1, the much-anticipated pension reform measure filed at the midway point of the 2018 General Assembly, offers – if correctly implemented – a significant step forward in addressing the Kentucky retirement systems’ $65 billion liability while creating a fair, healthy and sustainable retirement plan for…

Policy Brief: An analysis of Senate Bill 1

The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s free-market think tank, has warned for years that failing to adequately address what has become a $65 billion public pension crisis due to the awarding of arbitrary, unaffordable, overly generous, retroactive, and, in some cases, utterly corrupt, benefits not only threatens our commonwealth’s current economic security but also…

Bluegrass Beacon: Will pension funding engulf entire budget?

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Your humble correspondent warned for years that the day would come when public-pension funding crowded out government services Kentuckians on both sides of the political aisle care deeply…

Bluegrass Beacon: Keep making the General Assembly great again

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Following original release of this column, Gov. Matt Bevin announced he will not call a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly.  WLEX weather anchor Bill Meck was…

Bluegrass Beacon – Clear the air: Reveal retirees’ benefits

When addressing generous benefits received by Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) retirees in this column, a voluminous email response – mostly critical – is the norm. “I seriously have issues with using the word ‘lavish’ for teachers’ pensions,” a science teacher in Jefferson County wrote. “The word produces images of wealthy retirees sitting out on…

Bluegrass Institute Statement: Proposed pension plan doesn’t go far enough

The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions for years has warned that failing to implement real reforms to Kentucky’s ailing retirement systems could threaten the commonwealth’s entire economy and crowd out funding for other important government services. This is now happening. Our commonwealth faces a $200 million budget deficit and Gov. Bevin has been forced…

Fixing pension problem requires all hands — including those of beneficiaries — on deck to insure ‘this never happens again’

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team and board member Aaron Ammerman pointed out in his letter in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader: “Paying off the unfunded liability and honoring benefits that have already been earned by state workers will be an extraordinary effort, considering funding also needs to be found for essential state services such as education, health care and infrastructure.”…

Bluegrass Beacon: Pension plan cools, but freeze still needed

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide.   While waiting this past summer for the release of a consulting group’s recommendations on addressing Kentucky’s worst-in-the-nation public-pension crisis, the question arose in this column: Will there…