The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS), the commonwealth’s first and only free-market think tank, today launched KentuckyPensionTruth.com, a website dedicated to publishing Kentucky public pension research along with serving as a clearinghouse for local and national news and commentary regarding government-run retirement systems.
The goal is to provide transparent and truthful information regarding the major threat pension crises pose to the economy of Kentucky and many other states.
“There are many stakeholders currently providing input and calling for change, including teachers, state employees, union leaders, taxpayers, legislators, consultants and those in the media,” said BIPPS board chairman Aaron Ammerman, who also serves on the institute’s pension reform team. “While there are different perspectives on the way forward, most agree: remaining at the status quo is neither a realistic nor sustainable option.”
“It’s vital that Kentuckians hear the truth about where we are, how we arrived at this point and serious nonpartisan solutions that will bring our commonwealth back from the edge of the economic cliff and return it to the road leading to financial health while providing a secure retirement for state employees,” Ammerman added.
Along with national and statewide public pension news, the site gives readers access to unique research and original content published by BIPPS since the inception of our pension-reform work in 2012.
It also includes a new paradigm created by Dr. William F. Smith, the pension reform team’s director, and uses this funding algorithm to offer a defined benefit for new teachers while protecting taxpayers from future mountains of debt such as the commonwealth’s current $60 billion worth of unfunded liabilities.
Dr. Smith engaged a broad range of stakeholders, from policymakers to leaders of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, in developing this innovative solution to the greatest challenge facing our commonwealth.
“By including applicable pension commentary from neighboring states, this site can help us learn from the success and failures of public pension reform tried elsewhere,” Ammerman said. “We also include a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section to help citizens get a better grasp of Kentucky’s public pension systems and how they operate. The more Kentuckians know, the more they will understand the urgent need to address our pension crisis.”