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KPERS Board votes to no longer invest in Russian stocks, bonds

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Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 12:56 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Sunflower State’s employee retirement system will no longer invest in Russian stocks or bonds.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees says at its Friday, March 25, meeting, members voted to ensure no new investments are made in Russian securities.

“As trustees, our first duty is to KPERS’ members. Our focus is always to act in their best interest and to protect the Trust Fund,” said James Zakoura, KPERS Board of Trustees Chairperson. “Since the Russian invasion, members have sent us a strong and clear message asking trustees to stop investing in Russia.”

In the face of violence Russia has waged against Ukraine which has resulted in market risks, the KPERS Board said it has taken action to make sure no new investments are made in Russian stocks or bonds.

Along with its own effort, the KPERS Board said the pension plan will comply with any U.S. sanctions or legislation passed by the Kansas Legislature. It said it continues to monitor the situation and will take additional action as needed to protect the interests of members and beneficiaries.

The Board said KPERS investments are as follows:

  • $35.9 million in Russian securities - preliminary as of Feb. 25, 2022.
  • About 0.14% of the investment portfolio - preliminary as of Feb. 25, 2022.
  • Total Trust Fund market value is about $25.4 billion.

The Board is composed of nine trustees, four of which are appointed by the governor, two are appointed by legislative leaders, two are chosen by Retirement System members and one is the elected treasurer. All members serve 4-year terms.

KPERS provides retirement, disability and death benefits for Kansas’ state, school and public employees. The Board said the Retirement System has over 325,000 members and manages over $25 billion in assets. The System oversees KPERS 457, the state’s voluntary 457(b) deferred compensation savings plan, which has plan assets in excess of $1 billion.

For more information about KPERS or its investments, click HERE.

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