Kentucky REALTOR® News

KREC: New online portal & license numbers
December 15, 2017

The Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC) is excited to announce the launch of a new online services portal. The portal will provide licensees with expanded online services, including the ability to view and edit your licensing profile, initiate licensing changes, and process other licensing requests electronically.

 

In order to access the portal, you must login and create a NEW ACCOUNT using your Social Security number OR the identification number (OP_ID) that was sent in an email from the Kentucky Real Estate Commission on November 22 and resent on December 8. If you don't have the OP_ID, you will need to contact the Kentucky Real Estate Commission at ppc.krec@ky.gov or (888) 373-3300.

 

TO CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT:

Click on the link: https://oop.ky.gov/DPLServices/Login.aspx

 

Once you click the online services link, you will need to click the 'Create Account' link on the right side of the screen. When you enter your information on the next screen, you will select 'Individual Access' in the 'User Type' box.

 

After creating your account, you will receive a new license number. Please note, you will still be able to reference your old license number as a legacy number for all searches.

 

As a result of the online services transition, your firm name, licensee name, or business address may have been inadvertently misspelled or abbreviated. If you would like to correct or change this information, KREC's $10 change fee will be waived for 30 days. Please make any corrections by midnight on Thursday, February 15 using the online services system. After that time, a $10 fee will be reinstated for changes.

 

Create your account today and begin using the exciting new features provided by the online services portal. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as KREC completes this transition. If you have questions, please contact the Kentucky Real Estate Commission at ppc.krec@ky.gov or (888) 373-3300.

 

What is an OP_ID #?

OP_ID is a unique number that KREC (and the Public Protection Cabinet) can reference to identify an individual instead of utilizing his/her social security number. It is an abbreviation for Occupations and Professionals.

 

What happens if licensees/brokers do not create a new account before February 15, 2018 (extended date)?

You will be charged $10 transfer fee. In addition, you will also want to ensure that, during the transfer of all the data (name, address for both residential & firm) from the old system to the new system, that all your information transferred correctly without errors. When creating your account, please check to make sure all data is correct. If the firm name or firm address is incorrect, the principle broker can make corrections by February 15 at NO CHARGE - after February 15, 2018 there will be a $10 charge for corrections. Also, a new account must be created by the renewal deadline of March 31, 2018 or brokers and agents will not be able to renew online.

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Kentucky housing market heats back up in October
December 4, 2017

After slipping a bit in September, the housing market in Kentucky picked up in October following the national trend for the month. The number of homes sold in October rose 1.8 percent to 4,421 sold versus 4,342 sold in 2016. For the year, the number of homes sold jumped to 45,236, up from 43,905 in 2016, for a 3 percent increase. At this pace, 2018 is on track to break last year’s record for the most homes sold in a calendar year.

 

Nationally, total existing home sales increased 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September. After the increase in October, sales are at their strongest pace since June, but still remain 0.9 percent below a year ago.

 

The Commerce Department reported that new home sales increased 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units in October, making it three straight months for improvements. That was the highest level since October 2007 and followed September's slightly downwardly revised sales pace of 645,000 units.

 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales activity in October picked up for the second straight month, with increases in all four major regions, including the South, up 1.9 percent, which includes Kentucky. "Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home," he said. "While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated."

 

Home prices in Kentucky have continued to climb, with the October median reaching $129,829 compared to $118,144 in October 2016, an increase of almost 10 percent. For the year, median home prices are up almost 4 percent, hitting $127,194 for the first ten months of the year.

 

Housing inventories saw a slight increase in September, but fell by over 4 percent in October 2017 versus the same month a year prior. Year-to-date, the state’s housing supply is down over 14 percent, dropping from 4.9 months of supply in 2016 to only 4.2 months in 2017. Homes are also selling much faster, with days on market in 2017 hitting 119, a 10.5 percent decline from the 133 days in 2016.

 

“The housing market is still very competitive,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “The weather is cooling off and activity usually levels off in the last few months of the year. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as foot traffic and overall sales are continuing on a record pace. Based on year-to-date information, 2018 may turn out to be the busiest year we’ve ever seen despite the low levels of inventory.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.
 

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

 

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Kentucky REALTORS® outlines legislative priorities for the 2018 session
November 30, 2017
2018 Legislative Priorities
To view/download a copy of the 2018 document, click here

Kentucky REALTORS® released its 2018 Legislative Priorities detailing the legislative initiatives of the real estate and small business community for the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) knows that homeownership has positive impacts on neighborhoods, communities, and the overall vibrancy of the Kentucky economy. KYR advocates for policies that increase access to the American Dream of homeownership by promoting growth, attracting new jobs and talent, and encouraging positive community development.

The legislative priorities for KYR are crafted through a multi-step process that begins with its over 10,000 members. A survey is sent out to the full membership to determine which issues matter most, with those issues analyzed by the Governmental Affairs Committee. The Committee takes into account the survey responses and any carryover issues from previous legislative sessions and crafts an agenda, which is then approved by the Board of Directors and the Delegate Body.

“There are several tough issues that need attention in this state,” said 2017 KYR President Mike Becker. “As we move closer to the session, tax reform and pension reform are looming on the horizon and both could have extreme impacts on the economy and, ultimately, the real estate industry. We are pushing for responsible changes that do not place a disproportionate burden on the backs of homeowners and the middle-class and also looking out for other matters that could have the same effect.”

Specifically, KYR’s interests fall into the following categories:

  • Enacting Tax Reform
    • Protecting the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction
    • Opposing sales tax on services
    • Creating a first-time homebuyer savings account program
  • Protecting and Advancing the Real Estate Industry
    • Eliminating regulations that burden small businesses and independent contractors
    • Engaging in the continued implementation of HB 443 (2017 RS), which reorganized the Kentucky Real Estate Authority
    • Working with the administration and legislators to ensure the highest level of consumer protection, educational standards, and professionalism among licensees
  • Driving Growth and Economic Prosperity
    • Promoting economic development initiatives that bring new jobs to Kentucky
    • Supporting meaningful pension reform that sustains funding for the critical areas of state government involved in attracting new investments and growing our economy
    • Promoting workforce development programs that bring Kentuckians back into the job market and provide the opportunity to put down stable roots in the housing market
  • Stimulating Community Development
    • Allowing localities the flexibility to generate funding for public infrastructure
    • Supporting expanded and improved access to fast and reliable internet service across the Commonwealth
    • Building strong and healthy communities by supporting initiatives to combat the opioid abuse epidemic
       

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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Kentucky unemployment data for October 2017
November 30, 2017

Unemployment rates fell in 88 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in 10 and rose in 22 counties between October 2016 and October 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 2.9 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.1 percent; Fayette County, 3.2 percent; Jessamine and Scott counties, 3.3 percent each; Campbell, Monroe and Shelby counties, 3.4 percent each; and Boone, Kenton, Marion, Spencer, Todd and Washington counties, 3.5 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 8.7 percent; Harlan County, 8.5 percent; Jackson County, 7.9 percent; Letcher County, 7.7 percent; Elliott County, 7.6 percent; Lawrence County, 7.5 percent; Wolfe County, 7.4 percent; and Clay and Lee counties, 7.3 percent each.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.3 percent for October 2017, and 3.9 percent for the nation.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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Tax reform proposals should concern Kentucky homeowners
November 15, 2017

by Michael Becker, President – Kentucky REALTORS®

 

Tax reform proposals from both the House and Senate make sweeping changes to the tax benefits that homeowners have enjoyed for years. Unfortunately, if the current federal tax proposals stay as they are, this is likely to change. Here’s why:

 

Roughly 1.2 million Kentucky residents own their own home, and over 381,000 (roughly 32 percent) claimed a deduction for mortgage interest (MID).  If the federal plan doubles the standard deduction and removes most of the exemptions available, however, many fewer homeowners would itemize their taxes, essentially taking the MID and other off the table. But wait, there’s more….

 

Homeowners are currently allowed to deduct the taxes they pay to state and local governments, but that deduction is on the chopping block. Also slated for elimination are deductions for moving expenses, home equity loans, property taxes (capped in House version), student loans (House version) and more. In addition, even though the standard deduction is raised, the personal exemptions are eliminated altogether in both proposals, meaning families are losing out even more - especially if they also own a home.

 

By example, a family of four, making a combined income of $75,000 a year, and owning a home valued at $250K, could end up with a higher tax obligation, potentially more than $2,000 depending on a variety of factors relating to deductions and exemptions, if either of these proposals were to become law.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® understand that while some individuals may see a tax decrease under these proposals, estimates suggest that many middle-class homeowners, the very group that was promised good news with this reform, could in fact see a net average tax increase. In fact, according to the study: “Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing” by PwC, homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see their taxes rise by an average of $815. In addition to the direct financial impact of these tax reform proposals, homeownership is dis-incentivized and home values could be negatively impacted by up to 10% - as much as $10k - $20K on average depending on the area of Kentucky in which the homeowner lives.

 

Corporate tax cuts may be helpful in the worthy goal of improving the economy and driving job growth, but homeowners may be saddled with negative ramifications.  Meanwhile, their children and grandchildren will be asked to bear the burden of $1.5 trillion being added to the deficit.

 

Tax reform is vitally important, but the final product should reflect the tremendous value that homeownership offers all of Kentucky’s communities. If you own a home, or aspire to someday, you’d be wise to examine how this affects you and then let your representative know where you stand.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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Tax reform bills don't support homeownership
November 13, 2017

The legislative proposals for tax reform passed by the House Ways and Means Committee and the new Senate plan released last week include some sweeping changes to the tax benefits that homeowners have come to depend on. According to Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) and the National Association of REALTORS®, the bills are a direct threat to consumers, homeowners and businesses, as they represent a tax increase on middle-class homeowners.

 

In addition to millions of homeowners not benefitting from either of the proposals, many will get a tax increase that will average $815 for middle-class homeowners. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values predicted by economists if either of the bills are enacted.

 

KYR believes in the promise of lower tax rates, but these bills are not as good a deal as the one middle-class homeowners get under current law. Tax hikes and falling home prices are a one-two punch that homeowners must absorb, and at a time when the housing market is stable and providing a boost to the economy.

 

“We have always said that tax reform – a worthy endeavor – should first do no harm to homeowners. This tax framework misses that goal,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “These proposals recommend a backdoor elimination of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) for all but the top 5 percent who would still itemize their deductions in addition to losing many other important benefits afforded to homeowners.”

 

The pieces of legislation double the standard deduction, while repealing nearly all itemized deductions. The House bill, however, goes even further by capping the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 for newly purchased homes and eliminates it altogether for second homes, which could negatively affect home sales around Kentucky’s lake and river regions where consumers typically make those purchases. The Senate bill completely eliminates the deductions for property taxes even though it doesn’t lower the cap on the MID.

 

Both bills eliminate state and local income or sales tax deductions while at the same time putting new restrictions on the capital gains exemption homeowners utilize today when they sell their home. The bills would require homeowners to live in their home for 5 of 8 years before a sale to qualify for the exemption, versus just 2 of the previous 5 years today. This could create a hardship for homeowners who have to move inside that five-year window like members of the military who have turnarounds in as little as 3 years. The exemption is also vital to allowing homeowners to use their equity to pay for retirement and other long-term needs.

 

In addition, the bills eliminate many other real estate-related benefits, including the deduction for moving expenses, the deduction on interest on student loans (House version), the deduction for medical expenses (House version) - even for the elderly and the deduction for personal casualty losses, such as from hurricanes or wildfires.

 

Currently, America's homeownership rate hovers near the 50-year low at 63.9%. For many middle-class families, buying a home is the single largest investment they will ever make. In fact, the average net worth of a homeowner is 45 times that of a renter. By eliminating or nullifying the incentive for homeownership, however, KYR and REALTORS® across the state are concerned that homeownership's wealth-building potential could be pushed out of reach.

 

"All in all, both bills not only represent a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners, but at the same time, create a lost incentive to purchase a home which could cause home values to fall,” said Becker. “Plummeting home values are a poor housewarming gift for recent homebuyers and a tremendous blow to older Americans who depend on their home to provide a nest egg for retirement. We are pushing for sensible reform that will provide a win for American families by promoting lower rates and comprehensive reform that doesn’t single out homeowners for a tax hike, while also preserving important investment incentives.”

 

When all the changes included in the latest tax reform proposals are totaled, millions of middle class homeowners will see little benefit, while others will actually see a tax increase. All of this is being placed on the backs of middle class homeowners, while their children and grandchildren are asked to take on an additional $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Tax reform is important, but the final product should reflect the tremendous value that homeownership offers the community.

 

In summary,

  • If you are a seller: You might not be able to exempt your capital gains when you sell.
  • If you are a buyer: You might not be able to deduct your mortgage interest on your new home and you can’t deduct your moving expenses.
  • If you are a homeowner: You might not be able to deduct any of your property taxes.
  • If you are a second homeowner: You may not be able to deduct your mortgage interest.
  • If you are a REALTOR®: Homebuyers are losing incentives to buy a home, and homeowners have lots of incentives to stay put to keep their full mortgage interest tax deduction and to wait out the exemption for their capital gains.


Tax reform fact sheet - see how the two versions stack up for homeownership

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Homes sales remain positive year-to-date but slip in September
October 31, 2017

Kentucky saw home sales decrease in September, but remained positive for the first nine months of the year. Total home sales in September were down 4.6 percent, reaching 4,602 in 2017 versus 4,823 in 2016. For the quarter, homes sold hit 14,860 this year, slightly above the 14,777 sold in 2016. Year-to-date, home sales are still on a record breaking pace with a 3.1 percent increase, with 40,809 homes sold in 2017 versus 39,563 in 2016.

 

Housing inventories across the state jumped in September by 4.8 percent from the previous year, but for the quarter and year-to-date, inventories are still down 7 percent and 14.3 percent respectively, compared to 2016.

 

“Demand exceeds supply in most markets, which is keeping price growth high and essentially eliminating any savings buyers would realize from the decline in mortgage rates from earlier this year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While most of the country, except for the South, did see minor gains in contract signings last month, activity is falling further behind last year’s pace because new listings aren’t keeping up with what’s being sold.”

 

Not only is inventory an issue in many parts of the state, homes are selling faster than last year as well. For September, days on market dropped from 120 days in 2016 to 108 days in 2017, a decrease of 10 percent. For the year, days on market went from 134 days in 2016 to 120 in 2017, a drop of 10.4 percent.

 

“Even though the number of properties sold dipped in September, buyers are still on the hunt to find a home,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “As we move into the colder months, sellers who are serious about putting their homes on the market are encouraged to do so, as buyers will be searching due to pent up demand throughout the year and inventories naturally decline at this time of year. This could prove to be a good time to sell with serious buyers ready to purchase in the market.”

 

The median home price increased to a new monthly high for September, reaching $129,933, an increase of 2 percent from a year earlier. The median price for the year hit $126,902 from $122,967 for the same period in 2016. For the quarter, the median price rose 4.9 percent to $133,556. The total volume of all home sales reached $885 million in September and over $7.5 billion for the first three quarters of the year, an increase of 8.2 percent.

 

On the national front, home sales declined in September, compared to the same month last year by 1.5 percent, but rose less than a percent over the previous month (August), giving September the second slowest sales pace over the past year.

 

“We are hearing from others in the industry that the primary obstacles to sales growth are the same as we have known all year: not enough listings, especially at the lower end where first-time homebuyers typically come into the market, and prices that continue to rise which may prohibit some buyers from getting into the market even though affordability in Kentucky is well below most parts of the country,” stated Becker.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.
 

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

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Call for Action: Protect the Mortgage Interest and Property Tax Deductions
October 19, 2017

You have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. Do not let tax reform become a tax increase for middle class homeowners. 

Homeownership is the bedrock of our industry and we need to make sure any tax reform legislation protects middle class homeowners.

  • Did you know that American homeowners already pay 83% of all federal income taxes?
  • Did you know that some of the tax reforms under discussion could result in a drop of more than 10% in home values?
  • Did you know that after the 1986 Tax Reform Act property values in the commercial sector dropped significantly, negatively impacting state and local tax revenue?
  • Did you know that home-owning families with incomes from $50,000 to $200,000 could face average tax hikes of $815 in the year after enactment?
     

Help Kentucky reach a 20% response rate so our voice is heard on this important issue
 

Click here to take action

 

 

  • Click here for the CFA Toolkit
  • Click here for the tax reform poster
  • Click here for the banner ad
  • Click here for the photo frame to include around your picture after you take action & SM share links
  • Click here to find out how Kentucky is doing compared to other states
  • Click here to find out how your local association is doing compared to others in Kentucky

 

Sign up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts

Sign up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts and take action on important issues facing real estate. Mobile alerts come to your mobile phone and only take a second to respond. These matter to legislators when dealing with issues like MID, flood insurance and more. Text REALTORS to 30644.

BONUS: If you sign up for mobile alerts now through November 30, you will be entered into a drawing for a $500 Amazon gift card.

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Kentucky appointments to 2018 NAR committees
October 19, 2017

The National Association of REALTORS® has announced the 2018 Committee Appointments. Join us in congratulating the 21 appointees from Kentucky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Becker
Member Communications Committee
Member: At-Large

Lamont Breland
REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee
Member: State Representative

Ty Brown
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative 
State and Local Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Steve Cline
Board of Directors, State President 
REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee
Member: At-Large

Jayne Cox
Public Policy Coordinating Committee
Member: At-Large

David Earls
RPAC Major Investor Council
Member: State Representative

David McCoy
Global Alliances Advisory Board
Member: President Liaison

Elizabeth Monarch
Risk Management Issues Committee
Member: State Representative

Guy Montgomery
Professional Standards Committee
Member: State Representative

Becky Murphy
Credentials and Campaign Rules Committee
Member: Regional Representative
RPAC Participation Council
Member: State Representative

Charlie Murphy
Board of Directors, State Allocated Director
Business Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Paul Ogden
Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board
Member: At-Large

Dave Parks
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative
Business Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Rip Phillips
Broker Involvement Council
Member: State Representative

Lester Sanders
Housing Opportunity Committee
Member: State Representative

Jeff Smith
Board of Directors, State Allocated Director
Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee
Member: State Representative

Lisa Stephenson
Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee
Member: State Representative

Steve Stevens
Public Policy Coordinating Committee
AEC Representative

Karen Story
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative

Carl Tackett
Leadership Academy Advisory Group
Member: Leadership Academy Graduate

John Weikel
Federal Technology Policy Committee
Member: Commercial Specialist

 

 

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Kentucky reveals pension reform plan but final draft not released
October 19, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin, together with Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Jeff Hoover, unveiled “Keeping the Promise” - a comprehensive plan to save Kentucky’s ailing public pension systems.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • “Keeping the Promise” will save Kentucky’s pension systems and meet the legal and moral obligations owed to current and retired teachers and public servants
  • Requires full payment of ARC and creates new funding formula that mandates hundreds of millions more into every retirement plan, making them healthier and solvent sooner
  • For those still working: no increase to the full retirement age, and current defined benefits remain in place until the employee reaches the promised level of unreduced pension benefit
  • For those retired: no clawbacks or reductions to pension checks, and healthcare benefits are protected
  • For future non-hazardous employees and teachers: enrollment in a defined contribution retirement plan that will provide comparable retirement benefits
  • For current and future hazardous employees: will continue in the same system they are in now
  • Closes loophole to ensure payment of death benefits for the families of hazardous employees
  • Stops defined benefits plan for all legislators, moving them into the same defined contribution plan as other state employees under the jurisdiction of the KRS Board
  • No emergency clause: law will not go into effect until July 1, 2018
  • Structural changes should improve the Commonwealth’s rating with credit agencies, which have downgraded Kentucky’s rating, citing unfunded pension burdens

Gov. Bevin will call the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks to pass into law these much-needed reforms.

The Commonwealth’s three major public pension systems — Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky (TRS), and the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System (KJFRS) — collectively administer eight distinct retirement plans.

The state currently has an unfunded pension liability of at least $64 billion, ranking as the worst funded system in the nation. Using prior funding patterns, experts conclude that the Kentucky Employee Retirement System, Non-Hazardous (KERS-NH), will run completely out of money by the year 2022 if meaningful pension reform does not occur.

With $7 billion in negative cash flow over the past decade, Kentucky’s pension spending has been increasing nearly five times as fast as revenues. This effectively reduces funds available for other important budgetary priorities such as education, healthcare, public safety and transportation infrastructure.

 

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