Kentucky Public Pensions Authority Executive Director David Eager informed the Authority on Friday of his intention to retire next year. The KPPA Board held a special called meeting Friday morning to vote on a request from Eager to extend his contract for one year so he can complete a strategic plan and transition a new executive director. Eager’s current contract expires on June 30 of this year.
His written request also sought a salary increase from $200,000 to $228,960. Eager argued his position had not received a salary increase since he began in 2016. Additionally, he noted that his salary is below that of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System executive director and did not include the 8% and 6% increase state workers received last year and this year, respectively.
While the County Employees Retirement System (CERS) and Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) trustees who make up the KPPA board unanimously voted to approve the one-year contract extension, some questioned the salary change.
CERS Board Chairman Betty Pendergrass pointed out current statute requires an evaluation of the executive director, and she stated any salary change should correspond to that process. House Bill 297, a KLC initiative legislators passed in the 2022 Regular Session, required the yearly evaluation. CERS Finance Committee Chair Bill O’Mara suggested a 10% increase instead of the 14.48% Eager requested.
Some members questioned if the increase could be considered pension spiking, the act of getting a large raise or bonus before retirement in order to receive a larger pension. KPPA Office of Benefits Executive Director Erin Surratt responded that pension spiking does not apply to members who started on or after Jan. 1, 2014.
The eight-member group voted to approve the raise 6-2, with O’Mara and Pendergrass being the two “no” votes.