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Kentucky Retirement Systems v. Chamberlain

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

March 30, 2018

KENTUCKY RETIREMENT SYSTEMS APPELLANT
v.
BRET CHAMBERLAIN APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM FRANKLIN CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE THOMAS D. WINGATE, JUDGE ACTION NO. 16-CI-00300

          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Carrie Bass, Katherine Rupinen

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Whitney True Lawson

          BEFORE: KRAMER, CHIEF JUDGE; COMBS AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          COMBS, JUDGE:

          Appellant, Kentucky Retirement Systems, appeals from an Opinion and Order of the Franklin Circuit Court reversing a Final Order of Appellant's Board of Trustees that voided the retirement benefits of Appellee, Bret Chamberlain. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

         The "Kentucky Retirement Systems" is a designation that refers to the members of two distinct retirement systems: County Employees Retirement System and Kentucky Employees Retirement System, respectively. Kentucky Retirement Systems v. Fryrear, 316 S.W.3d 307, 313 (Ky. App. 2009), describes the relationship of the systems as follows.

Every year in this Commonwealth, state, county, and city employees retire as members of CERS and KERS. Because of the immense intricacies associated with both retirement systems, members must navigate an often abstruse and baffling course to obtain retirement benefits. To assist members with benefits and to manage the retirement funds of CERS and KERS, the General Assembly has provided for the Kentucky Retirement Systems. And, the General Assembly has specifically imposed particular "duties" upon employees of the Retirement Systems through enactment of KRS 61.650(1)(c)[.]
KRS[1] 61.650(1)(c) mandates that:
A trustee, officer, employee, or other fiduciary shall discharge duties with respect to the retirement system:
1. Solely in the interest of the members and beneficiaries;
2. For the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to members and beneficiaries and paying reasonable expenses of administering the system;
3. With the care, skill, and caution under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with those matters would use in the conduct of ...

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