Governor Appoints CERS Trustees

Governor Andy Beshear has appointed three investment experts to the new County Employees Retirement System (CERS) Board of Trustees. The three will join six members already serving on the current Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) Board of Trustees when the new CERS board takes effect April 1.

The governor appointed the following on Tuesday:

  • Bill O’Mara, the former commissioner of finance for the City of Lexington, will represent the Kentucky League of Cities.
  • Merl Hackbart, a finance professor at the University of Kentucky, will represent the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo).
  • Brian Dineen, vice president of finance for the Blue Grass Community Foundation, will represent the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

They will join CERS-elected trustees ‒ currently Betty Pendergrass, David Rich and Jerry Powell ‒ as well as current gubernatorial appointees Joe Brothers and J.T. Fulkerson. Brothers represents KSBA and Fulkerson represents KLC. The governor will make one more appointment to represent KACo.

House Bill 484 (2020) established the independent CERS Board of Trustees to manage the CERS pension and insurance trusts. A nine-member KRS Board of Trustees will continue to control the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) and State Police Retirement System (SPRS).

The bill also creates the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA) to handle administrative concerns for CERS, KERS and SPRS beginning April 1.

House Bill 9, a measure filed this session by Representative Russell Webber (R-Shepherdsville), provides separate statutory structures for CERS and the state’s pension systems. It continues to make its way through the legislative process.

The measure, called for in last year’s legislation, ensures changes made for one system do not unduly impact another. The bill would also allow the new CERS Board of Trustees to meet before April 1; however, they could not take any official action until that date.