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Consultants Selected For Kentucky Pension System Review

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Officials are promising the “most exhaustive review ever conducted” of Kentucky’s debt-ridden pension system. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has announced the selection of a new consulting group tasked with examining the system’s finances in detail.

Consultants with the Philadelphia-based PFM Group will comb through retirement system documents to put a more solid number on the state’s total unfunded liabilities, currently estimated at around $35 billion, and gauge the system’s overall solvency. PFM will also be asked to produce recommendations for putting the system on a more sustainable course.

Central to this year’s hard-fought budget negotiations, pension liabilities have been a top priority for Bevin – who signed a two-year spending plan in April that funnels more than a $1 billion in new dollars into the system. Other actions continue to meet with resistance, however. The governor is still in court over his decision to abolish and reorganize the state’s Retirement System Board.

The administration says Kentucky taxpayers, retirees, and current employees deserve "nothing less" than a fully transparent review. They cite a recent report by S&P Global Ratings, which found Kentucky has the lowest ratio of funds required to meet current and future pension obligations.

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.
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