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Kentucky Retirement System Investments Remain Flat

Continuing flat returns for Kentucky Retirement System investments are doing little to make up for the state’s $9 billion dollar unfunded liability.

Lawmakers charged with overseeing state pensions heard an update on numbers Monday. While much attention has focused on inadequate yearly funding contributions, Public Pension Oversight Board Sen. Joe Bowen pinned much of the blame for the growing shortfall on the market.

"The argument has continually been made that we have shorted the system on funding from the General Assembly, but as you can see that's not the problem. A flat market for 13 years has been the primary reason why the system is in the shape it's in," he told reporters.

Forecasters did report promising signs in the market during the first two weeks of February.

Lawmakers are once again considering a slew of legislative remedies this session. Those include measures to bond $3.3 billion of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System, others strengthening reporting requirements and transparency, and a collection of bills aimed at addressing so-called “pension spiking,” a practice where employees seek to inflate their compensation at the tail end of their employment in order to boost their pensions.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.