“You’ll Hear A Lot About Pensions” in 2015, Says Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Amidst Push for Transparency

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Early this month, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce called for an audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems – specifically, a review of its investment performance and policies.

Now, the Chamber president and CEO is promising Kentucky residents that they’ll “hear a lot about pensions” in 2015 — the implication being that addressing the state’s pension issues will be on the top of the docket for the Chamber next year.

Chamber President and CEO David Adkisson sat down with the Lexington Herald Leader over the weekend, and this is what he had to say:

The big storm cloud hanging over Frankfort right now in terms of its impact on the budget and everything else the state of Kentucky wants to do, like operating our schools, is the pension issue. There are two basic pension systems; the Kentucky Retirement System and then the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System.

The Teachers Retirement System has been saying for a couple of years that they need more money from the legislature to get on sound footing. They’ve addressed some of their key issues and they’re not in as bad a shape as the Kentucky Retirement System. But, they need more money and a significant amount: they said 400 million. That’s huge.

On a $10 billion budget, that’s a 4 percent increase.

We’re very interested in seeing more transparency. We want to know more about the fees that are paid to placement agents, we want to know more about the administrative and health-care costs of the Kentucky Retirement System. So, you’ll hear a lot about pensions in the 2015 session.

State Auditor Adam Edelen hasn’t decided whether to heed the Chamber’s call for an audit.

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