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Billionaire John Arnold made his money in natural gas. Photo: AP.

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — When Kentucky, with the country’s second-lowest funded pension system, set out to bolster the plan last year, it sought recommendations from Pew Charitable Trusts, funded in part by Houston billionaire John Arnold.

Kentucky’s worker retirement plan, squeezed by investment losses and shortchanged for years by the state, had just 30 percent of what it would need to pay the benefits due as employees retire in the years ahead. So the state’s lawmakers decided to cut the benefits for newly hired workers, just as the Philadelphia-based Pew suggested.

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