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2019 Legislative Update

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The 2019 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly adjourned on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The following is an overview of the seven Bills and two Resolutions passed this Session that will have an impact on Kentucky Retirement Systems. Please click on the hyperlink to read each bill in its entirety:

TOPIC: RETIRED REEMPLOYED CHANGES

Five bills made changes to the retired reemployed law:

1.  House Bill 419  requires KRS members to certify at the time of retirement that no prearranged agreement exists between the member and any participating agency, rather than requiring the certification upon reemployment. A key component of the bill says retired members who return to work with a participating agency 12 months after their initial retirement date no longer have to notify the Systems of their return to employment. This should make the process much less cumbersome for our members and greatly reduce the number of retired reemployed applications that have to be reviewed by the Systems’ legal team.

2.  House Bill 55 voids the retirement of an elected official participating in KRS who retires and is elected to the same office within twelve (12) months of retiring.

3.  House Bill 381 allows postsecondary institutions to employ retired police officers who meet certain eligibility requirements.

4.  Senate Bill 162 exempts employers from paying contributions on a retiree employed as a school security officer.

5.  Senate Bill 1 was signed by the Governor on March 11.  The bill has an EMERGENCY clause, so it went into effect as soon as the Governor signed the bill.

Although primarily a “school safety” law, Senate Bill 1 contains a provision that says Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEOs) will be treated the same as School Resource Officers (SROs) for retired reemployed purposes.

TOPIC: KRS GOVERNANCE

6.  House Bill 80, sponsored by Representative Jerry Miller, allows the Board of Trustees to conduct electronic balloting for Trustee elections so members will be able to vote on their smartphones or computers instead of only voting with paper ballots. Members can still request a paper ballot if they prefer, but allowing KRS to conduct elections electronically will greatly reduce postage and ballot printing costs and therefore provide savings to the Systems’ administrative budget. We also anticipate increased voter participation in future elections due to the ease and convenience of voting in this manner.

Also related to Board elections, the bill would synchronize the CERS election cycles. There are three CERS positions on the Board, but the election for two CERS Trustees occurs in the spring and the third CERS Trustee election occurs in the fall. This means KRS has to bear the cost of holding two separate elections: in the 2017 election for the first two positions, it cost the Systems $134,127 and the 2018 election for one Trustee position cost the Systems $96,871. Synchronizing the two election periods will eliminate the cost of the second election.

The bill also gives the Systems the ability to better work with participating agencies to resolve problems that arise when they don’t file the required employer contributions and reports by the statutory deadline; and it allows the 1% employee contribution for retiree health paid by Tier 2 and Tier 3 members to be combined with employer contributions to pay retiree health insurance premiums for eligible retirees.

7.  House Bill 489, sponsored by Representative Jerry Miller, requires our internal investment staff and investment consultants to comply with certain federal statutes, rules, and regulations applicable to investment managers. This bill enhances previous legislation designed to improve governance of investments.

Finally, due to legislative changes from the 2017 Session, Gubernatorial appointees to the KRS Board of Trustees now require Senate confirmation. Senate Resolution 206 and Senate Resolution 207, sponsored by Senator Ralph Alvarado, individually confirmed the reappointments of John Chilton and David Harris to the KRS Board of Trustees. Their terms expire on June 17, 2022.

We are currently reviewing the bills and updating our publications and procedures to reflect the changes that occurred during this Session.  Please continue to visit our website on a regular basis and follow us on our social media outlets for the latest information.



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