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Dear Colleagues:

Governor Bevin has asked for a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to address pension reform for impacted universities and quasi-governmental agencies.

Last month, the governor vetoed House Bill 358, a bill that reflected many of the priorities NKU and other institutions suggested through a consensus recommendation. This special session would be called to adopt the governor’s proposal, which has many elements of HB358. Those elements include a one-year rate freeze on pension contributions to avoid the drastic increase we would face in July and options for us to review over the next year.

These options include:

  • Staying in the system and being subjected to future contribution rate increases.
  • Exiting the system by paying off our unfunded liability by lump sum payment.
  • Exiting the system and paying off our liability through installment payments.

The most significant change in the governor’s bill from HB358 is the elimination of the Tier 1 and 2 employee option to either stay in KERS or move to NKU’s defined contribution plan (TIAA) due to federal compliance and legal concerns. Instead, this bill mandates that each institution will have to determine whether to keep all of its KERS Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees in the system or move them all to the defined contribution plan.

If the bill passes, we will have until May 1, 2020, to determine the option best for NKU and our employees. Over that time, we will work with you all to ensure understanding of the bill and options moving forward.

We will continue to share details with you as we learn more information throughout the process. Thank you for all you do for our university, our students and our region.