Kentucky Retirement Systems

  • The State of Kentucky is more than $33 billion in debt, holding just $16 billion in total assets
  • The State retirement and health benefits system holds the retirement accounts of 360,000 state workers
  • The state retirement board in 2011 opted to invest in high-risk hedge funds instead of low-risk long term investments that are common for pension funds. Bridging the funding gap was referenced as the reason for the shift to high-risk investment
  • The Kentucky state pension system was $2.1 billion over-funded as of 2001, but now faces a dire situation of 13.6 percent of liabilities covered by the pension account
  • The Kentucky State Retirement System saw its funded liabilities drop from 16 percent in 2016 to just 13.6 percent funded in 2017. The prospects for fiscal year 2018 are even more dismal, as rate of return on investments are still too optimistic at 7%.

S&P Market Strategies Report
Mercatus Center Report on Fiscal Health
Saving Kentucky’s Pension Report

Updated June 2019 based on 2017-18 data.