Pension analysis kept secret, for now
The Latest on Kentucky's pension system and a proposed bill to change it (all times local):
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration says it will not release an analysis of how much money a pension bill would cost taxpayers because the proposal is not yet finished.
Bevin released his proposal last month. A consulting firm has analyzed the bill to predict how much money it would cost taxpayers over the next few decades. But Budget Director John Chilton said that analysis is preliminary because the proposal has not been finalized.
The Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System released a similar analysis last week. It showed the bill would cost taxpayers an extra $4.4 billion over the next 20 years. That analysis was based on an assumed annual investment return of 6 percent instead of the 7.5 percent the system uses.
Chilton said that analysis was released prematurely.
Kentucky's public pension debt has jumped by more than $5 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017.
Nearly all of that increase is because the board of trustees predicted the state will earn a lot less from its investments than it has previously. The state depends on investments for a large portion of funding for benefits.
The debt is how much money the state does not have to pay promised retirement and health insurance benefits over the next 30 years. Last year, that debt was a combined $21.7 billion across the five systems in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System. But this year, consultants say that debt is now $26.7 billion.
State lawmakers will use the new numbers to decide how much money taxpayers should pay into the system over the next two years.
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