Betty Pendergrass, Keith Peercy elected chairs of CERS, KRS Boards, respectively; KPPA representatives set

FRANKFORT, KY (April 20, 2021): The boards of the governing bodies for the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority (KPPA), the County Employees Retirement System (CERS) and the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) are largely set following the recent CERS Election, appointments by Governor Andy Beshear, and the inaugural meetings for all three bodies.

Betty Pendergrass was elected Chair of the 9-member CERS Board, and Jerry Powell was elected Vice Chair. Ms. Pendergrass and Mr. Powell were re-elected to the CERS Board having received the highest number of votes in the February CERS election. Their current terms began on April 1 and are set to end on March 31, 2025. Dr. Patricia Carver received the third-highest number of votes, and was to replace Trustee David Rich on the CERS board as of November 1, 2021 for a term that will run through March 31, 2025. Mr. Rich’s current term goes through October 31, 2021; however Mr. Rich resigned from the Board, and the remaining elected CERS Trustees are in the process of considering who will fill out the remainder of his term. The preference is to consider the results of the recent election and appoint Dr. Carver, as the person with the next-highest number of votes by the CERS membership, to fill out the rest of Mr. Rich’s term. The CERS Board is seeking comments from CERS Members about appointing Dr. Carver to fill the remaining portion of Mr. Rich’s term, and is taking applications from Members who are interested in filling the remaining portion of Mr. Rich’s term themselves. More information can be found on the KPPA Board Elections page.

House Bill 484, passed during the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, changed the name of the former Kentucky Retirement Systems to the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority and created a new governance and administrative structure. Governance of CERS was transferred to a separate 9-member Board of Trustees. Six of those trustees are appointed by the Governor, selected from lists of candidates provided by KACo, KLC, and KSBA. Three are elected by CERS Members.

In an Executive Order issued on March 1, Governor Beshear appointed William Thomas O’Mara and Dr. Merl M. Hackbart to the CERS Board of Trustees. In an Executive Order on March 8, Governor Beshear appointed George Carlisle Cheatham II to the CERS Board of Trustees. Each will serve a four-year term, expiring March 31, 2025. The Governor also appointed James Michael Foster to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Trustee David Gallagher in 2019; however on April 1 he became a member of the new CERS Board of Trustees. Mr. Foster’s term will expire on July 1, 2021.

Mr. O’Mara, of Nicholasville, represents members with investment experience from the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC); Dr. Hackbart, of Lexington, represents members with investment experience from the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo); Mr. Cheatham, of Greensburg, represents members with investment experience from the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA); and Mr. Foster represents KACo.

On the KRS side, Keith Peercy was elected chair of the new 9-member KRS Board, which oversees pension funds and insurance trust funds of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS). John Cheshire III was elected Vice Chair. There is an open position on the KRS Board following the earlier resignations of Gubernatorial appointees David Harris and Matthew Monteiro from the Board. Even though two trustees appointed by the Governor resigned, due to the restructuring of the KRS board that resulted from the enactment of HB 484, there is only one vacancy for a Trustee appointed by the Governor. There is an additional vacancy caused by the recent resignation of elected Trustee Sherry Lynn Kremer. Ms. Kremer’s term was to expire March 31, 2022. KRS Trustees are currently considering how to fill out the remainder of Ms. Kremer’s term, and Governor Beshear will appoint someone to the other vacant position.

The KPPA, which oversees the organization that provides all of the benefit administration, investment management, legal, and other administrative support to the new CERS and KRS boards, has its own 8-member governing body comprising the chairs of the CERS and KRS boards, the chairs of the CERS and KRS investment committees, and one elected and one appointed representative each from CERS and KRS. Mr. Peercy was elected Chair of the KPPA and Ms. Pendergrass Vice Chair. Dr. Hackbart will chair the CERS Investment Committee. C. Prewitt Lane will chair the KRS Investment Committee.

Filling out the KPPA positions for CERS are Mr. Powell and Mr. O’Mara. The other two members for KRS are Mr. Cheshire and Campbell Connell. For more information about KPPA’s governance structure, to read board member and administration bios, and to see a meeting schedule, visit our About section.

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The Kentucky Public Pensions Authority is responsible for the investment of funds and administration of pension and health insurance benefits for over 394,000 active and retired state and local government employees, state police officers, and nonteaching staff of local school boards and regional universities.

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