BIPPS’ pension testimony: It’s the benefit structure that’s the problem

BIPRT TESTIFIES @ MARCH PPOB MEETINGThe Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team offered its presentation “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” at a recent meeting of the state’s Public Pension Oversight Board.

Dr.  William Smith told board members that addressing Kentucky’s public-retirement crisis is key to understanding and confronting the structural imbalance of the benefits system.

 

Bluegrass Institute Board member Aaron Ammerman, an investment adviser in Lexington, testified that while addressing pension benefits is a difficult topic fraught with emotion, it must be done in order to pursue true reform “with real teeth to it.”

He also told board members that while the Bluegrass Institute is not opposed to keeping a defined benefit system for state retirees, the rules for maintaining a properly funded pension system have not been followed in Kentucky like they have in other states.

Ammerman focused on a couple of the most-important rules.

 

The Bluegrass Pension Reform Team made a presentation on Kentucky’s troubled pension system at a recent meeting of Take Back Kentucky in Elizabethtown. Click here to download PowerPoint slides from that presentation.

 

Bluegrass Institute urges legislators to support pension transparency

bipps-logoBluegrass Institute President Jim Waters offered the following prepared testimony supporting making individual public retirees’ benefits transparent at a recent meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board in the Capitol Annex in Frankfort:

I would like to thank the members of the Public Pension Oversight Board for the invitation to participate in this meeting today.

The Bluegrass Institute is a state-based, nonpartisan, nonprofit research-and-education organization that offers free-market solutions to Kentucky’s greatest challenges based on the principles of economic prosperity, individual liberty, a respect for the lives and properties of others, and limited, transparent and open government.

Since the Bluegrass Institute’s founding 13 years ago, making government at every level – federal, state, county and local – more transparent has been a vital part of our mission.

We’ve found strong support for our efforts on both sides of the political aisle, including from leading policymakers in both parties. Influential Kentuckians from former state Auditor Adam Edelen and former Assistant Attorney General Amye Bensenhaver to legislative leaders, including Sens. Chris McDaniel, Joe Bowen, Jimmy Higdon, Damon Thayer and Rep. Kenny Imes, as well as representatives of Rotary clubs, tea parties and other liberty and good-government groups – have joined with the Bluegrass Institute to work to make government more open across the board, including as such openness relates to local taxing districts, the state Board of Education and legislators’ votes.

Influential Kentuckians from former state Auditor Adam Edelen and former Assistant Attorney General Amye Bensenhaver to legislative leaders, including Sens. Chris McDaniel, Joe Bowen, Jimmy Higdon, Damon Thayer and Rep. Kenny Imes, as well as representatives of Rotary clubs, tea parties and other liberty and good-government groups – have joined with the Bluegrass Institute to work to make government more open across the board, including as such openness relates to local taxing districts, the state Board of Education and legislators’ votes.

While this board has demonstrated strong, ongoing support for shining a brighter light on the retirement systems’ investment fees and practices, we respectfully ask you to expand your strong support for transparency into the largely untouched arena of benefit structures in general, and more specifically, benefits paid to individual retirees and how these benefits were determined.

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