Archive for Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kansas House passes bill for fixing pension system

March 20, 2012


— The Kansas House has approved a bill to use revenues from state-owned casinos to help close a long-term funding shortfall facing the state pension system for teachers and government workers.

The measure, approved Tuesday on a 92-33 vote, also would require public employees hired after 2013 to choose between two new pension plans. Neither would be a traditional plan guaranteeing benefits up front based on a worker's salary and years of experience, and one would be a 401(k)-style plan.

The measure goes to the Senate, which is working on its own bill.

The state pension system projects an $8.3 billion gap between anticipated revenues and retirement benefits promised through 2033.

Supporters hope that over the next two decades, several billion dollars in casino revenues could go to the pension system.


Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 1 month ago

Legislators' KPERS calculation a 'perk'

Comparing pensions

A legislator retiring with an annualized pay of $85,820.52, and with 10 years' service, would have an annual KPERS benefit of $15,018.60, for a monthly benefit of $1,251.55, according to KPERS. If the retiring legislator had 20 years' service, the annual benefit would be $30,037.20, and monthly, $2,503.10.

The News asked some KPERS retirees about their pension benefits. Their answers varied widely.

A state employee who was a supervisor for juveniles on probation retired after 34 years with an annual benefit of about $25,000. A municipal wastewater treatment plant superintendent, with 24 years' service, estimated the earned benefit at $2,300 to $2,400 monthly.

A state social services worker in a supervisory role retired in 1995 after 15 years and draws a monthly KPERS benefit of $524. That is equal to the monthly benefit for a county-level commercial appraiser who retired at 65, vested at nine years with KPERS.


Kathy Mendenhall, a public speaking instructor at Hutchinson Community College and past president of the Hutchinson National Faculty Association, had not been aware of the annualized pay formula for legislators.

"Oh, wow," she said.

"Teachers work so hard for their pay. We give our heart and souls to our job," Mendenhall said. "There's a level of insult to our profession when those kinds of things happen."


deec 2 years, 1 month ago

After the state neglects to fund the new plan like they did the old plan, they'll be having the same conversation in 20-30 years.


Jane 2 years, 1 month ago

New plan, old plan, why does the state require either? It's nice to plan for your future, but what if a person needs all of their earnings to pay for their and/or their children's CURRENT existence?


Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 1 month ago

Seems to me if we did not spend so much money on entitlements, especially for those who really don't need them, things like public transportation, and all the other feels good not really needed things, there would be plenty of money to pay our public workers. But, we would rather give what funds we have to those who don't want to work.


jmadison 2 years, 1 month ago

What is the average age of retirement for state employees, and for teachers? How many years of service for these employees? How many former state legislators are receiving benefits from the state?


Ragingbear 2 years, 1 month ago

The new plan options are "Screw You" and "@#$% Off". Both will suddenly go belly up about 2 years from retirement.


Shane Garrett 2 years, 1 month ago

Okay everyone go have a good time, go have some fun, go to the local casino tonight. Where have I heard that jingle before?


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