Kentucky Teachers Pension Officials Still Pushing For $3 Billion Bond


Kentucky lawmakers spent much of the last legislative session considering the issuance of a proposed $3.3 billion pension bond, which would be used to shore up the funding of the state’s Teachers’ Retirement System.

The proposal passed the House but failed to clear the Senate.

But pension officials are calling for lawmakers to pick up the proposal again.

From WFPL:

KTRS officials warn that if the system doesn’t get an influx of cash, the state’s contribution will increase from $107 million in this fiscal year to more than $802 million in 2020. That number would only grow to $408 million with the $3.3 billion bond measure, officials say.

The system has $18.1 billion in assets. But [executive director] Harbin said between 2014 and the end of 2016, KTRS will have sold $1.3 billion to meet current obligations.

“This is really strapping our investment strategy, we’re pulling money away from good managers that are doing good jobs for us, selling assets in order to meet payroll,” Harbin said.

The system is also bracing itself for an influx of baby boomer teachers retiring and collecting pension checks instead of contributing to the system.

“The bottom line is you’re going to be under this pressure for a period of time and without some relief, your status in the next five or 10 years is going to become critical,” said Rep. Brent Yonts, a Democrat from Greenville. “The boiler’s going to blow up if we don’t give you a solution.”

KTRS estimates that the $3.3 billion bond would boost the system’s funding ratio from 53 percent to 66 percent.


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