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Kentucky Teachers' Pensions Need More Funding

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An attorney with Kentucky’s public school teachers’ pensions says that the fund could run out in about 20 years if lawmakers don’t act.

In the recently passed $20 billion state budget, lawmakers gave only half of the requested amount to the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System, which provides pensions for the state’s public school teachers.

Beau Barnes is general counsel for the KTRS. He says that he’s optimistic that lawmakers will begin addressing the underfunded pension, which currently has nearly $13 billion in debt, but a plan must be implemented soon, or the debt will grow exponentially larger.

“If a pension fund does not have a funding plan in place, then we’ll have to use a worst-case scenario projection of what the actual unfunded liability’s going to be. In that case it’s almost going to double our unfunded liability to about 23 billion dollars,” said Barnes.

Barnes says if nothing is done soon, the pension will have to start selling off some of its assets just to make payroll.

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