Pension Reform Update 3-9-18

Message from Tim Abrams, Executive Director

Let's Finish Strong - 13 days left in 2018 General Assembly

We are in the home stretch, so keep the pressure on and finish strong! Your voice is working!!!!  Our momentum is tremendous, don't slow up!!!!

Even though we don’t have millions of dollars in “Dark Money” we have our voices and we have the best interests of Kentucky’s future in mind. Our students and our economy rely on strong public schools. Because of your advocacy, the Kentucky State Senate recommitted SB 1 to the State and Local Government Committee. What does this mean? After talking with several folks at the Capitol it could mean several things. The bottom line is - they don’t have the votes because of your advocacy.

Please call your legislators in the House and Senate. Ask them to vote no on SB 1 for the financial well being of retired teachers in Kentucky and for the future of our state.

Despite rhetoric being used by ideologues who are against public pensions.

·     We have prepaid for our COLA.

·     COLA’s have no connection to the unfunded liabilities in TRS.

·     COLA’s are part of the inviolable contract.

·     Reducing COLA’s for retired teachers bails out the mistakes of past administrations and legislatures on the backs of retired teachers.

HB200 (House Budget) still contains a provision to move TRS employees into the merit system under the Personnel Cabinet in State Administration. This was proposed in the Governor’s budget and we are in complete opposition to this reorganization for several reasons as follows:

  •    TRS has among the lowest administrative and investment fees in the nation. Administrative fees are only .0601% of assets. KRS fees are .277% of their asset base, more than 4 times higher than TRS. TRS operates with 103 full-time employees. A 2012 LRC report confirmed TRS has among the lowest admin and investment fees in the nation compared to other large public pension plans for both the one year and 10 year periods.

  •    Additionally TRS has been able to recruit top staff in other areas like Jane Gilbert and her team in health insurance. Jane and her team's skill and expertise at achieving savings have eliminated about $2 billion in liability from the Medical Insurance Fund.

The merit system makes no practical sense for TRS. Is that prudent? Would this happen in the private sector?

Call your Senator and ask them to have this language removed from HB 200.


Legislative Hotline: 1-800-372-7181

Members of the Senate State Government Committee are as follows: