Separate & Sustain
County Employees Retirement System (CERS) Pensions
About the Issue

Retirement Stability

County Employees Retirement System (CERS)

CERS makes up 63% of the total membership in Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) and 73% of its assets. Learn More

Sustain & Separate CERS

CERS makes up 63% of the total membership in Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) and 73% of the assets. But only six seats have been given to CERS representatives on the KRS Board comprised of seventeen members, and CERS has no representation on the KRS investment board. CERS members and employees believe that this lack of representation could harm the future stability of the CERS system – a pension system within KRS that is neither in crisis nor weak.


The County Employees Retirement System (CERS) has seen its funding ratio increase and its employer contributions decrease, since the passing of Senate Bill 2 in 2013. In fact, CERS has the probability of becoming fully-funded by 2043.
Unlike the upward mobility that CERS displays, the Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems (KERS) has had a decrease in their funding ratio. KRS admin. expenses increased 245% from FY 2000-2016. At this stage, KERS is the worst-funded system in the country.

The chart above shows CERS over 61% while KERS is funded well below 30%. Separating CERS from KRS will help to ensure the long-term solvency of CERS.
According to the asset liability study performed by R.V. Kuhns, Inc., KERS is set to undergo financial hurdles of “persistent funding shortfalls, elevated contribution levels, unsustainable payout ratios and in the worst-case scenario, the potential for the complete depletion of the asset base.” Removing CERS from the necessary conversation taking place on KERS allows our legislators to focus their energy on fixing these very real problems that remain within KRS.

Helping CERS Continue to Grow

The coalition supports the long-term stability of CERS through local control of local pensions. By separating CERS from KRS and
sustaining the CERS retirement plans, we ensure that the needs of CERS members will be met and that CERS will continue on its current path of growth for years to come. Separation with excessive changes is not ideal as unnecessary changes to the CERS structure  create unnecessary risk for those who depend on these funds.

Supported by: Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Professional Firefighters IAFF, Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association, Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Professional Firefighters Association, Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police, Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association, Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association, Kentucky Sheriff’s Association, Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, Kentucky Coroner’s Association, Kentucky Jailers Association, Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Kentucky City/County Management Association, Kentucky County Clerks Association, Kentucky Government Finance Officers Association, Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association, Kentucky Occupational License Association, Kentucky Recreation and Park Society, Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky, Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Education Association