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Is the funding status of the plans improving?

​No. The Financial condition of the plans is eroding.

As recently as FY2002, the KERS-NH plan was over 100% funded, and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) plan was nearly 90% funded.  The funded status of KERS-NH dropped precipitously and constantly thereafter, despite benefit reform efforts including the implementation of new benefit tiers for new hires in 2008 and 2014.  Overall, the KERS-NH financial position fell from a net asset surplus to an unfunded liability of over $11 billion.  The declining health of the TRS pension fund has been more gradual and less severe, but nonetheless steady.  Overall, the amount of TRS unfunded liabilities increased by nearly 600% between FY2002 and FY2016 as seen below.

Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky valuation reports for KRS, TRS, KJFRS, as of 6/30/16

Source: PFM Group Consulting report, May 22, 2017.  For more information about this topic, click here to see relevant portions of that report.