The State of Public Pensions in Kentucky and Nationally

Speaking: 10/24/2019 10:45 AM

The State of Public Pensions in Kentucky and Nationally 

The fiscal health of public pensions continues to be a heated topic of conversation in Frankfort and in county courthouses across the Commonwealth. Other states have also struggled to find the right balance of protecting benefits with minimizing spiraling costs. During this session you’ll hear from a nationally recognized expert on how other states have approached the pension crisis and an update on Kentucky’s system.

David Eager

Executive Director

Kentucky Retirement Systems

David Eager, Executive Director, Kentucky Retirement Systems

As Executive Director, David Eager is responsible for the overall management of more than 245 employees and the numerous operations of the Systems, which currently has over 386,000 members and $17.6 billion in assets.  He represents the retirement systems on public policy matters, including issues before the Kentucky General Assembly, and serves as the KRS liaison to Executive Branch agencies and the general public.

Mr. Eager was originally appointed to the KRS Board of Trustees in April, 2016 by Governor Bevin and was elected Chair of the Investment Committee.  In August, 2016, he was named Interim Executive Director and served in that capacity until April, 2018 when the Board voted to make him the Executive Director.

Mr. Eager has a long history working in the investment industry.  He began his career at Gerber Products Company where he was responsible for the firm's investor relations and retirement plan and insurance assets.  He also administered the in-house pension equity portfolio and the portfolio of their Gerber Life Insurance Company.  Mr. Eager then moved to Merrill Lynch's Institutional Department where he was responsible for managing commodity hedging clients, and later joined Meidinger Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky where he ultimately headed their investment consulting practice and was a Division Manager overseeing their benefits offices in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Louisville.  After Mercer's acquisition of Meidinger, he managed Mercer Investment Consulting and was a Global Partner.

Mr. Eager then founded Eager & Associates, a firm that provided management consulting and marketing research to a wide variety of investment management firms in the United States and Europe.  Mercer later acquired Eager & Associates, after which Mr. Eager continued to manage Mercer's Eager Manager Advisory, and was also retained by Driehaus Capital Management to serve as their Director for Product Development.

Along with two former Eager & Associates partners, Mr. Eager co-founded Eager, Davis and Holmes, which continued to provide the service Eager & Associates offered.  When Mr. Eager was first named Interim Executive Director of KRS he was required to resign from the KRS Board and became an inactive, non-participating partner in Eager, Davis and Holmes.

Mr. Eager received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The Ohio State University and a MBA with honors from Western Michigan University.

Keith Brainard

Research Director

National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Keith Brainard, Research Director, National Association of State Retirement Administrators

As research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Mr. Brainard collects, prepares and distributes to   NASRA members news, studies and reports pertinent to public retirement system administration and policy.

Mr. Brainard is co-author of The Governmental Plans Answer Book, Fourth Edition, and he created the Public Fund Survey, predecessor to the Public Plans Database, an online compendium of public pension data developed and maintained through a collaboration of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, and NASRA. He also created the State & Local Pension Exchange, predecessor to the Public Fund Survey and recipient of the Award for Excellence in Government Finance from the Government Finance Officers Association. Keith has discussed public pension issues before Congress, state legislative committees, public pension boards of trustees, and on multiple media outlets.

Keith serves as vice-chairman of the Texas Pension Review Board and previously served two non-consecutive terms as an elected member of the Georgetown, Texas, city council. Mr. Brainard also served as manager of budget and planning for the Arizona State Retirement System and as a fiscal analyst for the Texas and Arizona legislatures. He holds a B.A. and an M.P.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

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