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KPERS Pension Shift Being Discussed

A bill that would switch the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, from a pension plan to a 401(k) system is being considered by the Legislature. Topeka Independent Business Association head Ken Daniel says the current plan's 7.5 billion dollar long-term shortfall means that the state should act now.

If Kansas switches its compensation to a 401(k) plan, the funding gap would still exist for current employees. The state cannot legally force existing workers into a different system. However, proponents of a change say there would be no chance of shortfalls for newly-hired workers, as 401(k) plans are required to be funded up front.

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