Message From Executive Director
I just had my fifth anniversary as the Executive Director of KPPA. Little did I know when I first agreed to be a Trustee in April, 2016 I would be asked to be the Executive Director that September.
Prior to that I had been in the private sector my entire career. I had no idea of the rewards of being in a public service position like that of working for you at KPPA. I have come to learn what many of you have probably known for a long time a career in public service can be very gratifying: it is a culture, and it is contagious. I talk to staff members all of the time who tell me how rewarding they see their jobs, no matter what they are doing at KPPA. Every one of our 250 employees plays a role, either in collecting the $2 billion in employer and employee contributions each year, investing the $22 billion in assets, answering over 272,000 member inquiries annually, processing the 133,000 monthly benefit payments, communicating to our various constituents, meeting all of the accounting and auditing requirements, hiring the staff to manage the Systems, maintaining the facilities, or using our legal expertise to protect our members and their assets.
I love to get compliments from members about how well they are being served. I also realize there may be areas where we can do better and I prefer you let us know if that is the case. Dont let a bad experience or good idea go unreported. My email is .
Tier 3 Upside Sharing Interest
Tier 3 covers members who began participation on or after January 1, 2014. At the end of each fiscal year, Tier 3 members receive a guaranteed 4% interest plus an additional interest credit based on the KPPAs 5-year average geometric investment return. Strong fiscal year investment returns boosted total interest earned and credited for Tier 3 member accounts for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021:
County Employees Retirement System Nonhazardous8.76%
County Employees Retirement System Hazardous8.90%
Kentucky Employees Retirement System Nonhazardous7.96%
Kentucky Employees Retirement System Hazardous8.74%
State Police Retirement System8.25%
Temporary Reemployment Rule Changes
Senate Bill 1 passed during the 2021 Special Session makes temporary changes to reemployment rules for retirees who have an effective retirement date on or before August 1, 2021 and reemploy with a school board in specific positions. These changes took effect on September 9, 2021. To learn more, read our FAQ.
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Overview Of Kentuckys Retirement Systems
Kentucky Employees Retirement System: Hazardous Employees Being that anyone whos part of this program encounters dangerous activities daily, Kentucky offers stronger death and disability benefits. All employers who have employees that fit this hazardous distinction are required to be a part of the program.
Kentucky Employees Retirement System: Non-Hazardous Employees There are 124,000 employees involved with this retirement system. Around one-third of them remain active members. This theoretically bodes well for this program. Thats because there are more individuals currently contributing to it than taking from it.
County Employees Retirement System: Hazardous Employees In order for an employer, and therefore its employees, to gain eligibility to this system, the KRS Board of Trustees must approve the admission. But if chosen, the benefits hazardous employees receive are similarly robust to those in the state program.
County Employees Retirement System: Non-Hazardous Employees This is the most populated plan in the Kentucky retirement system portfolio. It has nearly 200,000 active, inactive and retired members. Although the state isnt doing too well financially, the sheer size of this system should help protect it.
State Police Retirement System If youre a full-time state police officer, you have no choice but to join the SPRS. It features some of the best retirement ages in Kentucky, but has the smallest member base in the Kentucky retirement system.
Attention Hazardous Retirees Don’t Forget This Annual Requirement
If you are a hazardous duty retiree, you must submit a Form 6256 to receive insurance premium contributions for your spouse and eligible dependents. The form can be submitted with your online enrollment or you may upload the form using the Documents feature in Self Service. Form 6256 must be submitted to KPPA by November 30, 2021 for Plan Year 2022.
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Types Of Retirement Systems In Kentucky
Kentucky has a fairly large number of retirement systems for it public employees, with eight offerings across all different jobs. The benefits and retirement requirements that accompany these plans are based on what the position entails. This is most evident with its hazardous versus non-hazardous programs. The more dangerous positions come paired with stronger perks and easier-to-meet prerequisites.
The retirement systems Kentucky offers for public employees are divided into three groups: Kentucky Retirement Systems , Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System of Kentucky . KRS consists of the most, and includes the KERS-H, KERS-NH, CERS-H, CERS-NH and SPRS plans. The KJFRS is significantly smaller, and is comprised of just the KJRP and KLRP plans. The TRS program stands on its own.
Tips For A Successful Retirement
- Having a set of financial goals before you reach retirement age is the best way to ensure that youre not just endlessly saving. This will help to identify where you want to end up, and can make your retirement more tangible and attainable.
- Retirement is tough to be prepared for, even if you do have a pre-set pension with the state. The professional guidance of a financial advisor might be perfect way to get your plans in order, all while managing your current finances. SmartAssets financial advisor matching tool has the ability to pair you up with three advisors in your area that are equipped to handle your needs.
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Member And Retiree Newsletter
Welcome to the fall edition of PENSION INSIGHTS, the official newsletter for members and retirees of CERS, KERS, and SPRS.
In this issue, youll find articles about:
- Insurance Open Enrollment for Plan Year 2022
- Temporary Reemployment Rule Changes
- How to view your Member Annual Statement online
- Strong investment returns, and what that means for Tier 3 participants
- The upcoming KERS Trustee elections
- How retirees can change the beneficiary of their retirement accounts under certain conditions
- And much more!
Congratulations On Turning 65
Medical insurance changes on your 65th birthday. As of the first day of the month that you reach your 65th birthday, you will no longer be eligible for the Kentucky Employees Health Plan. You must obtain Medicare Part A and B and submit a completed TRS Medicare Eligible Health Plan Enrollment Form to have medical and prescription coverage through TRS.
Contact Social Security to enroll in Medicare approximately three months before your birth month. Your demographic information at Social Security must match what you have on file at TRS, including your name, birthdate and address, or your enrollment could be jeopardized. Since Medicare will not accept a post office box address, you must supply TRS with a residential address as well.
If your birthday is the first day of the month, your Medicare will become effective the month prior, and you can enroll in the MEHP one month early by completing both the MEHP and KEHP enrollment forms that you will receive from TRS.
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Current Financial Health Of The Kentucky Retirement System
Kentuckys pension funds are the most underfunded in the U.S., with about $20,000 per state resident in unpaid for liabilities. In order to try and realize some level of growth, the state has taken on much more investment risk with its pension funds. In the Kentucky retirement system, that could lead to more trouble. Furthermore, because Kentucky has increased spending within its pension fund, other areas of the state governments services have suffered financially. The education sector is one such example.
There is a hopeful light at the end of the tunnel, though. Governor Bevin has taken aim at this major problem, implementing a plan entitled Keeping the Promise that began July 1, 2018. This strategy takes a multi-pronged approach to try and build this broken system. In addition, the program still protects the rights of those at critical times in their retirement or near-retirement lives. For example, there will be no reductions to current pension checks and the full retirement age will not be altered.
Exercise Your Right To Vote Upcoming Kers Trustees Election
KPPA is partnering with YesElections to offer electronic voting in the next board election. Online voting is highly encouraged during the 2022 KERS Board of Trustees election. It is a secure and efficient way to cast your vote. Please verify or update your email address at MyRetirement.ky.gov to vote online.
If you prefer to vote by mail, you have three ways to request a paper ballot:
Members preferring to vote by mail must request a paper ballot between November 1st and the November 30th deadline. For more information about the 2022 KERS Election, visit our Board Elections page.
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Fully Fund The Statutorily Required Obligation To The Medical Insurance Fund As Required By Hb540 The 2010 Shared Responsibility Law According To Krs 161550 And 161420
What is the 2010 Shared Responsibility Law? This law established a new investment fund to be managed by the Teachers Retirement System . Active teachers are required to pay 3.75 percent of their salary, retired teachers under the age of 65 are required to pay the equivalent of the monthly cost of Medicare Part B, and school districts are required to contribute 3 percent of their gross payroll to the fund. The Commonwealths contribution to the Medical Insurance Fund is 0.75 percent of payroll annually. The Commonwealths contribution to the plan flows through TRS to the Kentucky Employee Health Plan to pay for the single subsidy of retired teachers under the age of 65.
What was the purpose of this law? In 2010, the education community called upon our elected officials in Frankfort to come up with a solution that would ease the burden of healthcare liabilities on Kentuckys taxpayers and ensure affordable access to healthcare for current and future retired teachers.
This shared sacrifice has been a success. Thanks to strong investment performance by TRS, lower than expected medical inflation, the extension of the Federal Governments Medicare Advantage Plan, and 10 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Medical Insurance Fund has grown to over 1.3 billion and is now 61.7 percent funded.
30-year repayment schedule
Total Assets Now $227 Billion
Kentuckys pension and insurance funds for state and local government employees and the State Police collectively earned an investment return of 25% net of fees for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Last years performance also marks the highest single-year investment return in the history of the organization, eclipsing the 24% return recorded in 1997.
For more information, read the KPPA news release.
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Open Enrollment For Plan Year 2022
Open Enrollment for retirees not eligible for Medicare is October 1 October 31, 2021. General information for the Kentucky Employees Health Plan will be mailed to retirees later this month and detailed information will be available on the KPPA website at the same time. An online enrollment form is only required if you would like to change your coverage for 2022. If this applies, you must submit an online enrollment form through Retiree Self Service during October. Open Enrollment for Medicare eligible retirees is October 25 November 30, 2021. Retirees will receive Open Enrollment information from Humana mid-October.
Enrollment is not required this year. If you do not submit an enrollment form, you will continue with the same health insurance benefit for 2022 as you have for 2021. This applies to all insurance plans . If you want to make a change for 2022, you must submit an enrollment form during Open Enrollment to change your coverage next year.