Kentucky's public pension debt has jumped by more than $5 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017.
Nearly all of that increase is because the board of trustees predicted the state will earn a lot less from its investments than it has previously. The state depends on investments for a large portion of funding for benefits.
The debt is how much money the state does not have to pay promised retirement and health insurance benefits over the next 30 years. Last year, that debt was a combined $21.7 billion across the five systems in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System. But this year, consultants say that debt is now $26.7 billion.
State lawmakers will use the new numbers to decide how much money taxpayers should pay into the system over the next two years.