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Ky. Auditor: Pension Systems Failing Transparency Test

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AP Photo/Adam Beam
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Kentucky’s top taxpayer watchdog says the state’s pension agencies have not met transparency requirements laid out in a 2017 bill passed by the legislature. 

State Auditor Mike Harmon reports his team found that three systems, including the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Teachers Retirement Systems are failing to post the vast majority of their investment contracts to the web.

"Our auditors found that, when it comes to that basic requirement, KRS and TRS have fallen drastically short of what is required by the law," the Republican says. 

Harmon also took issue with what was blacked out in the investment reports that were posted, charging that KRS permitted investment managers to dictate redactions like "a baseball player going up to bat, and being allowed to call his own balls and his own strikes."

The auditor says the redactions are keeping information about fees, expenses, and conflicts of interest out of the public eye. Still, the state transparency law does not include an enforcement mechanism or penalties, so it’s unclear what action the systems may or may not take.