FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - By relying too heavily on U.S. stocks, Kentucky's public pension systems have lost an estimated $5 billion over the last 10 years, according to a study by a Missouri consulting firm.
The poor returns mean taxpayers will have to make up the difference, reported The Courier-Journal of Louisville in Saturday's editions. The study by Hammond Associates was conducted last summer for Gov. Steve Beshear's public pension working group, which is studying the system.
"It's quite upsetting when you think $5 billion for a small, poor state like Kentucky being lost over a 10-year period," said state Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville. "That's serious money."
The Kentucky retirement system covers more than 316,000 current employees and retirees and has $17 billion in assets.
The state teachers pension system covers roughly 115,000 current employees and retirees and has $15.6 billion in assets.
Retired teachers and state and local government employees will still get their benefit checks each month, Finance Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller said.