BRADENTON, Fla. – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin Friday restructured the state pension board as a state agency, saying the move was necessary to achieve greater transparency and better administration.
Bevin abolished the existing Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees and by executive order created the KRS Board of Directors as an agency of state government.
He also appointed four new members with investment experience to join the existing 13 board members, who will retain their positions.
"The reorganization is critical in helping to address the state's pension system which is underfunded by over $35 billion," said a release issued by Bevin's office.
The executive order filed by Bevin Friday states that the three systems managed by the Kentucky Retirement Systems "have not consistently been administered in the open, transparent, and expert manner that current and future retirees, employees and citizens deserve and expect."
Reconstituted as an agency of state government, the new board will be responsible for securing, managing and overseeing the combined retirement systems in a fiduciary capacity, the governor said.
The pension board oversees retirement plans for 348,000 active, inactive and retired members who are state and county employees and state police. The system has $16.2 billion in assets, according to KRS' website.
Bevin appointed John R. Farris as chairman and David L. Eager as vice chairman.
The four new board members are John E. Chilton, William S. Cook, David L. Harris, and Neil P. Ramsey.
Chilton is the state budget director for Bevin's administration and has been a certified public accountant for 40 years. He also co-founded Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP, a regional accounting firm.
Cook, from Louisville, retired from KKR Prisma in early 2015. He was an investment committee member and a senior portfolio manager.
Harris, of Nicholasville, is senior partner and shareholder of MCF Advisors LLC, a Kentucky based comprehensive financial services firm. He is also a registered investment advisor with the Securities Exchange Commission.
Ramsey, who also is from Louisville, founded Ramsey Financial Inc., the parent company of RQSI in 1986. His work included quantitative strategies development and directing external investments for the firm.