The Illinois Supreme Court today struck down a recently passed law designed to fix the nation's worst funded public pension system, putting Illinois lawmakers and the state's new Republican governor back to square one as they try to solve a huge state budget crisis.

The law enacted in December 2013, would have eliminated annually occurring 3% cost of living increases in pension benefits. It also would have upped the retirement age for state workers and limited the amount of salary that could be used to calculate pensions.

Increase to Paducah Police/Firefighter Pension Pay-out Fails

Sep 3, 2014

An ordinance to increase payment from the Paducah Police and Firefighters’ Pension Fund by 2 percent to retirees did not pass at Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting. The ordinance failed by a 2 to 2 vote with one commissioner not present.

 Commissioners Carol Gault and Richard Abraham voted to approve the increase. Abraham says Paducah’s police and firefighters are among the most deserving of increased support from the city’s budget.

Beshear Pleased With Appeal in Seven Counties Case

Jun 12, 2014

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he is pleased with a decision by the Kentucky Retirement Systems to appeal a recent ruling that would allow quasi-governmental agencies to withdraw from the beleaguered public pension system.


A group of Louisville teachers are planning to file a class-action lawsuit against the governor and leaders in the Kentucky General Assembly, claiming they violated the state's contract with teachers by deliberately underfunding teachers' retirement fund by billions of dollars.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton have met to discuss the stalemate over a solution to Illinois' pension crisis, but House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't show up.

Aides to all three leaders had no details on Tuesday's roughly hour-long meeting in Quinn's Chicago office. Neither Cullerton nor Quinn addressed reporters.

Both the House and Senate remained deadlocked on a solution to the nearly $100 billion problem.


Local state legislators join a pension expert for a roundtable discussion at Murray State University this Saturday. Keynote speaker Cameron Smith is the policy director for the Alabama Policy Institutes and co-authored the Alabama study on pensions.

  Another downgrading in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.

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With its pension funds are the most underfunded in the U.S., and a shortfall approaching $100 billion, Illinois lawmakers will meet again next week in hopes of fixing the problem. Solutions other states adopted as long as five years ago are on the table. They include higher retirement ages, asking workers to contribute more and switching to 401(k)-style plans.

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State employees with higher pensions should pay more to help the underfunded systems recover, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview.

One thing Stumbo doesn't want to see is lawmakers floating bonds to help pay for the state’s underfunded pensions.

After being heavily criticized for their use, Kentucky’s major pension program says it hasn't used a placement agent for three years.

Placement agents are investing middle men that direct pension funds to investment opportunities. Kentucky has not had a good track record with placement agents, who have been accused of mismanaging millions for the pension funds according to a 2011 audit.