The Kentucky General Assembly approved a bill Thursday that would separate the administration and oversight of the County Employees Retirement System from the $13.4 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems, Frankfort, to its own board.
The bill, HB 484, was approved 31-1 by the Senate on Thursday with three floor amendments. The House, which originally voted 90-4 for the bill on March 11, then approved the revised bill Thursday 78-4. The bill now goes to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear; it's not known if he will sign it into law.
A smaller Kentucky Retirement Systems board would continue to oversee the investments and administer the Kentucky Employees Retirement System and the State Police Retirement System.
The change would be effective April 1, 2021. While the County Employees Retirement System and Kentucky Retirement Systems would have separate boards, they would share staffs to conduct daily business under the oversight of a new eight-member board called the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority consisting of members of both boards.
Of the 17 members of Kentucky Retirement Systems' board of trustees, there are three who are elected by County Employees Retirement System members.
As of June 30, the County Employees Retirement System-Hazardous and Non-Hazardous had $9.6 billion in assets, the Employees Retirement System-Hazardous and Non-Hazardous had $2.9 billion, and the State Police Retirement System had $287 million, according to KRS' most recent comprehensive financial annual report.
"First of all, I think the structure as it exists operates effectively and efficiently," said David L. Eager, KRS' executive director, in a March 17 telephone interview. "I think the feedback we get from surveys and members is we do a great job of providing retirement and counseling and so forth."
"There's no question when you look at the numbers the (county) people have a reasonably small representation relative to their membership and the assets," Mr. Eager said. "I don't think that necessarily warrants any change, but I appreciate their perspective."
Crystal Staley, spokeswoman for Mr. Beshear, could not be immediately reached for comment.