Segments in this Video

Introduction and Credits: The Pension Gamble (04:00)


Pension funds that were promised to Kentucky State workers are underfunded. Correspondent Martin Smith places a losing bet on "Promises Fulfilled" at the derby. (Credits)

Public Employees (04:01)

Louisville High School teacher Randy Weck explains the ideals driving educators; he and Christina Frederick Trosper assert salaries are a compromise for secure retirement. Police officers discuss the promise of pension propelling them into the field.

Kentucky Retirement Systems: Digression (02:19)

Nearly half of American workers once had guaranteed pensions; public employees largely retained them. In 1999, Kentucky pensions were 100% backed; in 2000, they lost 1.2 billion in the dot-com crash. Opposed to hiking taxes, politicians diverted funds.

Educators: Testimonies (02:02)

Journalist John Cheves describes politicians raiding pension funds for other projects. Trosper discusses early complacency, and trusting in future solutions. Weck explains how much he's contributed to his retirement.

Kentucky Retirement Systems: Wall Street (02:55)

By the 2008 recession, pensions funds were low; Betty Pendergrass explains how the crisis further impacted them. In 2009, the Trustee Board made risky investments. David Sirota discusses economy control by financially powerful.

Kentucky Retirement Systems: Board Qualifications (02:47)

Trustee financial management experience varies, many represent employees. Pendergrass and John Farris discuss Wall Street exploitation of pension funds and inexperienced boards. Smith confers with police officers; Ed Davis served as trustee, and admits to inadequate investment background.

Kentucky Retirement Systems: Hedge Funds (04:10)

In 2009, CIO Adam Tosh led the trustee board to invest in Arrowhawk Durable Alpha; there was no disclosure of "placement agents." Firm spokesperson, Glen Sergeon collected large undisclosed fees. Financial Crimes Investigator Ted Siedle filed complaint with the State Corporate Commission.

Kentucky Retirement Systems: Lawsuit (07:32)

Attorney Ann Oldfather represented firefighters after KRS gambled their pensions on hedge-funds and were charged hidden fees. See a portion of the 2018 pretrial hearing; defendants called for dismissal. A Blackstone Alternative Asset Management attorney asserts the firm's transparency.

Kentucky Politics (03:33)

Senator Morgan McGarvey explains the 2013 change to the KRS system; police, firefighters, and other public servants were impacted first. See Matt Bevin speak at the governors' campaign debate; he asserts that if money is not available to pay promised pensions, then they are moot.

Governor Bevin and Pension Legislation (08:05)

Bevin converted to annual Actuarially Required Contributions; Cheves explains how the compromise denies teachers pensions. Hear Trosper confront Senator Robert Stivers regarding his support of the plan. Senator Joe Bowen asserts Senate Bill One as means to save retirement funds.

House State and Local Government Committee Vote (03:34)

In March 2018, Senate Bill One was stalled; see footage from an impromptu meeting called by Republican politicians that required a vote. The pension bill was pushed through; McGarvey discusses corrupt practices used to approve it. Representative Jerry Miller defends the maneuver.

Capitol Protest (04:43)

See educators assemble at Kentucky State Capitol; protestors discuss the metaphor of a sewage legislation modified to create Senate Bill One. Lawmakers debated how to provide for pensions; the bill has since been blocked in court. Sirota addresses unwillingness to increase taxes and reluctance to cut pensions.

Educators: Future System (02:07)

Hear Bevin defend pension benefit cuts. Cheves discusses the end of retirement funds. Trosper describes teachers' financial challenges and pension reliance.

Credits: The Pension Gamble (00:60)

Credits: The Pension Gamble

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The Pension Gamble

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State Governments and Wall Street put America's public pensions in a $4-trillion hole. FRONTLINE investigates consequences for teachers, police, firefighters, and other public servants. 

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL169126

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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