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KPPA-F.Y.I.

KPPA - F.Y.I. is your direct connection to current, factual information about your KPPA-administered benefits. This is where you can find our response to rumors, press coverage, helpful topics, and other timely information. Stay informed about COVID-19 impacts to KPPA services, organizational announcements and upcoming events that are important to you.

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As a result of HB 87, enacted during the 2021 session of the General Assembly, retirees now have the option of making changes to their monthly survivor beneficiary designation. Before this change, the only change that could be made was the beneficiary of the $5000.00 death benefit.

There are two types of changes available:

1. A retired member who has a non-survivor payment option – Basic, Life with Certain Options, Social Security Adjustment Option (Without Survivor Rights) can change the beneficiary at any time. This has no impact on their monthly payment option. In order to update the beneficiary only, the retiree must complete the Form 6036 which is mailed to the retiree by KPPA once a request is submitted in Retiree Self Service.

2. A retired member who has married or remarried after retirement may make a one-time change to their beneficiary, and have their payment option changed to a survivorship option (Survivorship 100%, Survivorship 66 2/3%, Survivorship 50%, Social Security Adjustment Option (With Survivor Rights) if applicable and name the new spouse as beneficiary. If they married or remarried prior to the effective date of the law, June 29, 2021, they have until January 1, 2022 to make the effective change. Members who marry or remarry on or after June 29, 2021, have 120 days from their effective date of marriage or remarriage to designate their spouse as beneficiary and select a recalculated payment option to provide survivor benefits to the spouse. To update the beneficiary and payment option, the retiree must complete the Form 6035, and submit a copy of the new beneficiary's birth certification and marriage certificate in Retiree Self Service.

Retirees should initiate these changes in Retiree Self Service unless otherwise indicated in the Beneficiary and Payment Option Change module.

​The last retirement benefit raise, or Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), provided to retirees took effect in July 2011 and continued through the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year. Although the COLA paid to retirees comes from trust fund dollars and not the General Fund, the Kentucky General Assembly (and not the Systems' Boards, the KPPA, or the Governor) actually holds the authority to grant COLAs under Kentucky Revised Statute 61.691. House Bill 192, the State Executive Branch budget bill that was passed during the 2021 Regular Session of the General Assembly and takes effect in July 2021, did not include a COLA for retirees.

In 2013 the General Assembly created a new law to govern how COLAs will be granted. Language included in Senate Bill 2 during the 2013 Regular Session says COLAs will only be granted in the future if the Systems' Boards determine that assets of the Systems are greater than 100% of the actuarial liabilities and legislation authorizes the use of surplus funds for the COLA; or the General Assembly fully prefunds the COLA or directs the payment of funds in the year the COLA is provided.  

This change is consistent with a resolution adopted by the then-KRS Board on November 18, 2010, which "…urged the Governor and the General Assembly to make certain that any amount of cost of living adjustment given pursuant to KRS 61.691 is fully funded, in addition to the amounts provided pursuant to KRS 61.565 (actuarially recommended employer contributions)."

After careful consideration of the funding status of the Systems, the Board adopted this resolution in 2010 because COLAs for retirees are paid from trust funds on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that the expense is recognized as it occurs and is not pre-funded. The costs for each annual COLA are recognized in the employer contribution rate after the COLA is granted. From 2008 through 2012, unfunded COLAs added $1.45 billion in unfunded liability to the Systems. 

Click here for a History of Benefit Increases to Retirees from July 1, 1960 to July 1, 2014.  

The majority of our staff continues to telework, as KPPA is able to serve our members without interruption in essential services. KPPA has not resumed in-person services. In place of in-person office appointments, KPPA is offering virtual counseling appointments via Zoom and appointments by phone. Members are strongly encouraged to register for Member Self Service prior to scheduling an appointment. Members can also apply for retirement online using Member Self Service. Read more about Member Self Service

Virtual appointments are being offered to:
  • Members within two years of retirement eligibility, and
  • Members who are eligible to purchase service credit. 
Members can access their retirement accounts online at myretirement.ky.gov or call 1-800-928-4646. Documents can be submitted to our office by using the upload feature in Self Service, by mail or by fax at 502-696-8822.

Like many organizations, we are closely evaluating our business model moving forward based on our strong productivity metrics during the pandemic while the majority of our staff works from home. We appreciate your patience as we finalize our counseling services procedure for the future.

​KPPA offers Medicare and non-Medicare plans. Non-Medicare plans are available through the Kentucky Employees' Health Plan (KEHP) until retirees become eligible for Medicare. Learn more about transitioning to Medicare in this video. More information about current Medicare and non-Medicare insurance plans can be found on KPPA's Insurance Overview page.

KPPA is scheduling some in-person KRS Chapter 13B hearings, and will continue to offer virtual hearings via a virtual videoconferencing platform.

​Thinking about taking another job with a participating agency after you retire? Make sure you know the laws and paperwork needed for a successful and legal transition to a new job. 

On March 31, 2020, Governor Beshear issued Executive Order 2020-265 suspending statutes and regulations restricting participating employers from reemploying retired members in the specific positions identified in the order. On April 2, 2020, Governor Beshear issued Executive Order 2020-266, expanding the scope of positions covered to include all positions under city, county, and state government that are necessary to address the State of Emergency. 

If you are reemploying in a position that is not in response to the Covid-19 State of Emergency, you and your potential employer must continue to adhere to current laws and regulations. Learn more about the process by visiting our Reemployment After Retirement page.

Things to know:

  • Prior to Retirement the member must certify on the Form 6000, Notification of Retirement that no prearranged agreement exists prior to retirement.
  • If a retired member seeks employment with a participating employer within 12 months of their effective retirement date, both the member and participating employer must notify KPPA by submitting the necessary forms.

Note: After 12 months of retirement neither a member nor a participating employer are required to notify, seek a final determination from, or submit forms to KPPA related to any employment or work as an independent contractor, leased employee, or volunteer, accepted 12 months after the member's effective retirement date.

Separation from Service:

There must be a Bona Fide Separation from Service (no prearranged agreement, written or verbal, to return to work to their participating employer)

  • Non-Hazardous must observe a 3 calendar month break in service from their effective retirement date, before returning to work with a participating employer
  • Hazardous must observe a 1 calendar month break in service from their effective retirement date, before returning to work in a regular, full-time hazardous position with a participating employer.

Submit your paperwork to our KPPA Legal Department:

Failure to comply with Kentucky Revised Statutes 61.637 and 78.5540 upon reemployment with a participating agency will void the member's retirement and will require repayment of all benefits. 

​KPPA is excited to announce that our members may now apply for retirement online! Our self service website is easy to use from your computer, smartphone or tablet.

  1. Go to myretirement.ky.gov and log in to your Member Self Service account. 
  2. Click “Apply for Retirement” under Services.
  3. Complete each step of the retirement module.

Note: A four digit, Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to submit the retirement application online.

​Upload your required documents online by signing in to Member Self Service. Follow these steps to submit birth certificates, driver’s licenses, marriage certificates, and other retirement documents: 

  1. Go to myretirement.ky.gov and log in to your Member Self Service account. 
  2. Click Upload Documents under Services.
  3. Click Upload Document.

​These are challenging times for a variety of reasons, and members and retirees may be working remotely or performing tasks online that they previously would have done in person. Unfortunately, scammers will attempt to profit from a difficult situation, even using Coronavirus scams to trick victims into purchasing fake cures, donating to fake causes, etc.

Protect yourself by being aware of their tactics. Scammers pretend to be someone you trust. Be aware that scammers will use a variety of social engineering techniques to misrepresent themselves or to trick you into divulging sensitive data such as bank account, credit card, other financial information, employment or retirement information, or protected health care information. The Kentucky Attorney General's website gives tips to avoid scams and also lists scams which are currently targeting Kentuckians.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, even government agencies have been targets of imposter scams where the scammer impersonates government agents to trick victims into paying for free services, insinuating that the victim owes back taxes or license fees, etc., and tricking them into making payments at fake websites. The FTC website has some good resources on how to identify scam activity.

Protect your KPPA account information.

  • Never give out your account credentials or PIN number to others.
  • Don't access your online account from public computers such as in libraries or hotels.

Please note that KPPA does not contract with or approve any third parties to provide pension benefit guidance or advice about your KPPA retirement. KPPA communications will not come from free email accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. If you have any concerns about contacts regarding your KPPA account, please contact KPPA directly to confirm they are who they present themselves to be.

​On April 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor and IRS announced a temporary extension of certain deadlines for sending notifications, electing, and paying for COBRA continuation coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak. Under this temporary extension, you have extra time to send certain notifications about COBRA coverage, to elect COBRA coverage, and to make premium payments. These changes are retroactive to any deadline occurring from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the COVID-19 National Emergency is declared over. 


WHAT IS A PIN AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?

KPPA automatically generates a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for our members when they first have contributions posted to their accounts, and beneficiaries receive a PIN when they become a payee in the system. 

Members need their PIN in order to discuss account information with us over the phone or to be able to access their account online.  This added layer of security helps protect the confidentiality of your account. 

HOW DO I OBTAIN A NEW PIN?

There are two ways to obtain a new PIN. 

Snail Mail:

If members or beneficiaries need a new PIN, they can call our office toll free at 1-800-928-4646 to request a new one, which will be sent to them via the U.S. Mail. Receiving a PIN through the mail may cause a delay for the member in accessing the needed information while they wait for the PIN to arrive but this option is great for those not in a hurry.   

Same Day via Email:

Members and beneficiaries who have a valid email address on file with KPPA can also request a new PIN to be sent to them via encrypted email, so they will receive the PIN the same day. A member or beneficiary may request a PIN via encrypted email in Step 2 of the registration process for the Self Service portal, in the Contact Information module within the Self Service portal, or by contacting KPPA toll free at 1-800-928-4646. To request a new PIN through the Self Service portal, click here to get started: https://kyret.ky.gov/Pages/Login.aspx

GovDelivery is a Granicus email service used by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other government entities. KPPA uses GovDelivery to email member newsletters and announcements.

Many members want to speak directly to benefits counselors concerning their retirement options. Call Back Assist can help make your life easier by simply reducing your wait time on hold. A counselor will call you back and you won't lose your spot in line. 

HOW ARE CALLS ANSWERED?

On any given day, approximately 23 highly-trained KPPA retirement counselors answer calls from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time in our call center. With over 386,000 active, inactive, and retired KPPA members to serve, it doesn't take long for a backlog and lengthy wait time to develop. 

WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE MY CALL WAIT TIME?

KPPA experiences our heaviest call volume on Mondays. Placing your call on another day of the week, if possible, may result in your call being addressed more quickly. Also, KPPA has implemented a "Call Back Assist" feature that allows you to leave your contact information on a recorded message, and a KPPA counselor will call you back. Calls are returned in the order in which they are received, so you can continue with your day instead of waiting "on hold" to speak with a live counselor. We encourage members to select this option when offered. Members who have utilized this feature have told us they are very happy with the time-saving results. 

Thank you for your continued patience as we work to serve our members as quickly and efficiently as possible.   

KPPA provides salary data to Open Door, a transparency website that documents government expenditures. Search salary data by name, salary range, title, and/or agency.

The Public Pension Oversight Board (PPOB) was established by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2013 to assist with their “…review, analysis, and oversight of the administration, benefits, investments, funding, laws and administrative regulations, and legislation" pertaining to the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority.  Per KRS 7A.220, Board membership consists of elected officials from both the House and Senate; the State Budget Director, Auditor of Public Accounts, and Attorney General or their designees; and citizens with financial expertise appointed by the Governor.

KPPA staff routinely attend the monthly PPOB meetings to provide information about the Authority and its Systems. We are actively engaged with the Oversight Board and continue to work cooperatively with policymakers to find solutions to pressing issues. 

Below is a brief list of what KPPA has presented at prior PPOB meetings:

  • Updated the PPOB on our cash flows and the importance of developing and maintaining positive cash flows

  • Understanding KPPA Governance

  • Operating under SB 2

  • Recommendations for legislation in the 2019 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly

  • Board Trustee election processes and recommended changes

  • Investment performance and compliance updates

  • Trends in investment return assumptions for public plans

  • Importance of funding and investment compounding

  • Investment consultant Request for Proposal (RFP) process

  • Actuarial valuations

For more information, we encourage you to view our Legislative Updates page, where you will find PPOB materials at the bottom of the page.

​Question: If I meet the qualifications under the CARES Act, may I take an early distribution or a loan from my retirement account with KPPA if the distribution or loan is for a coronavirus-related situation? 

Answer: No. The statutory provisions of KPPA, which have been approved by the IRS, do not authorize any distributions to members prior to the member’s termination of employment. Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 61.575(1) states, “Prior to the member's retirement, death, or refund in accordance with KRS 61.625, no funds shall be made available from the member account.” The CARES Act only authorized such distributions (without early distribution penalties) or loans (at a larger amount than previously authorized by the IRS) for retirement plans that already had provisions for distributions or loans.

​Question: May employee or employer contributions to KPPA be modified (reduced) or suspended under the CARES Act? 
Answer: No. Only plan sponsors of 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans may permit active participants to modify or terminate an election to make elective deferrals to the plan at any time. This applies to voluntary elective deferrals only, not to mandatory employee contributions which are required as a condition of employment or pursuant to law. KPPA is a qualified 401(a) governmental plan (not a 401(k) or 403(b) plan), and employer and employee contributions are required by law, thus, cannot be modified (reduced) or suspended during this state of emergency.

Pension and benefits paid to KPPA reitrees and beneficiaries have a wide-ranging impact on the state's economic health. In addition to ongoing monthly pension payments, KPPA ​issues refunds, death benefit payments, and pays toward monthly insurance coverage for eligible retirees, beneficiaries, and their dependents. The following details KPPA's Fiscal Year 2020 economic impact.





KPPA livestreams Board and Committee Meetings on our Facebook page. We invite you to join us for future meetings by going to the KPPA Facebook page on the date and time of the meeting. You can also watch videos of prior meetings. Click here to view the meeting schedule.

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