pension

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.

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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.

After years of lawmakers attempting to find solutions to the state’s underfunded pension problems, a group of Republican legislative candidates are hoping to institute a plan of their own.

At a news conference today at the Capitol, the majority of Republican challengers in House and Senate races endorsed a plan to put new lawmakers into a 401k style pension system.

The challengers say if elected their plan would be the first bill they jointly introduce. And they would include themselves in the new 401k plan.

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A task force looking for ways to cover Kentucky's $19-billion public pension shortfall will explore the idea of borrowing enough money to bridge the gap through the sale of government bonds. The Task Force on Kentucky Public Pensions is expected to review that option at a meeting in September. 

A former financial planner for the Kentucky Pension Systems says an international banking scandal is leading to millions of dollars in losses for Kentucky agencies.

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