STATEHOUSE – The House and Senate conference committee came to an agreement on a plan to reform the state’s retirement system also known as the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS). The conferees agreed on a cash balance plan that will create a third tier for employees starting after January 1, 2015. The conferees agreed to increase the state’s statutory requirement contribution until the actuarially required contribution (ARC) is achieved.
“Reform of KPERS is a necessity for the current and future state employees as well as the taxpayers,” said Representative Mitch Holmes (R-St. John), chair of the House Pensions and Benefits Committee. “The conference committee negotiation addresses a pensions system in crisis and creates a plan that will still be providing retirement benefits 50 years from now.”
The agreement does not offer a defined contribution option for new employees. House conferees were focused on a reform plan that can meet the needs of the State and the employee.
“Reforming KPERS is one of the state’s top priorities. I am happy to see we can come to an agreement to ensure Kansas can meet its responsibility in providing for state employees retirement plan,” said Representative John Grange (R-El Dorado), vice-chair of the House Pensions and Benefits Committee. “The cash balance plan we negotiated will stop the bleeding with the unfunded liability and gives us an affordable plan that benefits the state’s employees.”
All employees will receive quarterly reports for their retirement benefits. Currently, KPERS contributors receive an annual update of their retirement balance.
“I applaud the conferees on reaching an agreement to begin much needed reform for the state’s pension plan,” said Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R-Hutchinson). “This agreement will provide confidence to state employees that their retirement fund will be there when they retire. The new formula will allow the state and contributors transparency and simplicity when adding to their retirement plan.”