FRANKFORT, Ky. — The retirement benefits of Kentucky’s part-time state lawmakers are now open to the public after a new law took effect this week. Friday, the state’s retirement systems released benefit information for more than 300 current and former legislators. Of those, at least six are owed more than $100,000 a year:
HARRY MOBERLY JR.
Annual benefit: $165,157.32
Background: A Democrat, Moberly served 31 years in the state legislature, but his pension is based on his 22 years as a high-level administrator at Eastern Kentucky University.
Annual benefit: $158,123.52
Background: A Republican, Draud served nine years in the state House of Representatives. But he worked 40 years in the public education field, including one year as the state commissioner of education, which gave a significant boost to his retirement benefits.
Annual benefit: $132,581.70
Background: Miller has been a Democratic state representative from Louisville since 1998. But he was a high school principal before that, and $118,000 of his retirement benefit comes from that. When he retires from the legislature, he’ll be eligible for at least an additional $14,206.08 per year.
Annual benefit: $132,275.88
Background: After winning a special election in March, Nicholls was a Democratic lawmaker for 10 months before losing in November to Republican Danny Bentley. Nicholls was not in the legislative system long enough to qualify for a pension, but he was a state judge for 29 years, which is where all of his pension comes from.
Annual benefit: $117,740.16
Background: Gray, a Democrat, spent 26 years in the House of Representatives. But he spent three years as secretary of the Labor Cabinet under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. A 2005 state law allowing lawmakers to apply high-paying salaries from other state jobs to their legislative pensions gave Gray’s pension a significant boost.
Annual benefit: $104,239.56
Background: A Republican state senator, Kelly was appointed to a circuit court judgeship by former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who was trying to create a spot for a Democrat to take his place. Kelly benefited from the change, giving him a high salary of a judge to apply to his legislative pension.