Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team presentation in E’town tonight

BIPRT Bill SmithDr. William Smith, a Madisonville dermatologist who served on Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension-transition team, leads the Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team.
Dr. Smith will present “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” at tonight’s meeting of the Central Kentucky Tea Party.
 
This presentation is based on Dr. Smith’s recent appearance before the state’s Public Pension Oversight Board and is drawing interest from around the commonwealth of Kentucky.
Tonight’s meeting is at 7 pm at the Nolin RECC, 411 Ring Road in Elizabethtown.

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team presentation tonight in Northern Kentucky

BIPRT Bill SmithBluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team leader Dr. William Smith will present “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” at tonight’s meeting of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party at 7 pm at the Holiday Inn at 7905 Freedom Way in Florence.

While much of the discussion about pension policy has centered on legislative funding and investment returns, the Bluegrass Institute is calling policymakers and taxpayers to focus on the underlying cause of the $48 billion unfunded liability plaguing the commonwealth’s retirement systems.

This presentation was made recently to the state’s Public Pension Oversight Board and is drawing interest from around the commonwealth.

For a preview of this presentation and to hear some of the comments made by the Institute’s team at the PPOB, click here.

Q&A will be included as part of the presentation.

Please come and bring someone with you to hear this important presentation.

For more information on scheduling a Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team presentation, contact Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com or 859.444.5630.

News Release: Pension audit goes beyond the ‘politically palatable’

 

BIPPS LOGOFor Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The presentation of the final phase of an audit of Kentucky’s public pension plans at Monday’s meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board confirms what the Bluegrass Institute has said all along: changes in the way benefits are awarded must occur immediately.

“For years and even decades, Frankfort has distracted citizens and taxpayers from the real problem of an imbalanced system with unsustainable, arbitrary benefits with charges of inadequate funding and insufficient returns on invested funds,” Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters said today in a statement responding to the much-anticipated release of the final phase of PFM’s audit.

“Any responsible evaluation of funding and returns must acknowledge that funding has been far beyond expectations and investment returns have been healthy and exceeded assumed rates in many of the past 30 years, which is the only proper way to view these issues in a defined benefit pension system like Kentucky’s,” Waters said.

He commended Gov. Matt Bevin and legislative leaders for being willing to open the door to a serious discussion about retirement benefits, which often has been considered the third rail of politics.

“It appears that with today’s presentation, we at least are moving beyond a limited view of what’s simply politically palatable in discussions about the commonwealth’s pension crisis – arguably the nation’s most severe – toward meaningful changes that consider how the state can provide benefits to its workers without threatening Kentucky’s entire economy,” Waters said.

The Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team has been presenting “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis,” its description of – and solution to – this fiscal nightmare to groups and policymakers statewide.

While the Bluegrass Institute will review PFM’s recommendations in the days ahead, rest assured that big-government types will try and take advantage of this opportunity to target hard-working Kentuckians with tax increases while fighting any proposal for change.

“The status quo is simply unacceptable, unsustainable and unfair to future generations of Kentucky who will bear the brunt of debt and lack of opportunity if we fail to reform the structure of benefits and start to make real progress in reducing our unfunded liability,” Waters said.

The Bluegrass Institute stands ready to work with any and all policymakers who want to bring substantial and meaningful reform to Kentucky’s pension system.

For more information or comment, please contact Jim Waters at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com859.444.5630 ext. 102 (office) or 270.320.4376 (cell).

 

 

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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