Kentucky Teacher Pension Fund Barely 50% Funded, State Auditor Says It’s In Good Shape

Financial accounting definitions spoken by government officials is an ever revolving of “what is is”. Outgoing Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin tried to repeatedly to reform the pension itself because it will be broke one day. He unfortunately met the full power of the teacher’s union and lost his re-election attempt.

Now a new report has been released by the state auditor. While the financial picture looks grim, it is being reported as good. Here’s more from Kentucky.com:

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky reported a funding level on June 30 of 58.1 percent, up from 57.7 percent one year earlier. That’s less than healthy — anything under 80 percent is problematic, pension experts say — but it shows improvement for a system that has been the focus of much controversy in Frankfort in recent years.

Total unfunded liability at TRS rose from $14.2 billion to $14.5 billion this year. But the actuarial value of its assets gained even more, from $19.4 billion to $20.1 billion this year.

“We’re very much headed in the right direction.”

Citing the pension funding shortfall, Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly have made several attempts to reshape teacher retirement benefits in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down that law last winter, ruling that it was passed in an improper manner. A special legislative session on pensions that Bevin ordered shortly afterward fell apart without any action by lawmakers.

In a new report released Monday, state auditor Mike Harmon, a Republican, found no significant problems with TRS’ finances.

TRS gets more than $1 billion a year from the state’s roughly $11 billion General Fund, as does the other major public pension system, Kentucky Retirement Systems, which covers state and local government employees.

Published by Hoosier Econ

Located out of Central Indiana. Blogger of economics, politics and societal trends.

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