McDaniel files bill requiring state pension funds to disclose how much retirees recieve

02/05/2013 06:17 PM

Kentucky’s public pension funds would have to disclose the amount individual retirees receive in pension benefits under a bill filed Tuesday by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill.

“This is a major expense of the this state and taxpayers need to know who’s benefiting from it and where their tax dollars are going,” McDaniel said during an interview on Pure Politics. (Watch Pure Politics Wednesday night to see that part of the interview.)

The measure says that the major pension funds — the Kentucky Retirement System and Kentucky Teachers Retirement System and Kentucky Judicial Retirement System — would have to release the following information upon request of an Open Records Request:

  • - the name of the retiree or current employee who is part of the system
  • - the status of the person (whether he/she is retired, an active employee or a retiree who returns to work for a public agency)
  • - the amount of the monthly pension check a retiree receives or estimated amount if the employee is still active
  • - the agency or entity that employs or last employed the person

McDaniel’s bill also calls for making the information available on the system’s website through a searchable database.

Currently, the law allows the agency to keep that information private. The attorney general’s office recently denied an appeal from Pure Politics seeking that information.

Combined, the pension system have an unfunded liability of more than $30 billion. That means the systems owe that much more in pension and health care benefits to current and future retirees than the amount of money they have in the bank and the market.

The Kentucky Retirement System — which covers state, county, city and some quasi-governmental agencies, as well as the state police — has an unfunded liability of $18 billion and is at risk of going broke in five years. McDaniel discussed some potential reforms in his interview with Pure Politics that aired Monday.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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