The state Senate has passed a bill aimed at bolstering the financial health of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS. The bill would put new employees into what’s known as a cash balance plan. Workers would pay into the system and be guaranteed at least a 6 percent return. Senate President Steve Morris has been pushing for KPERS reform. The Hugoton Republican says the bill helps the program’s financial health, but also offers public employees a good retirement benefit.
Under the proposal, more money from KPERS investments would go to help pay down the program’s unfunded liability. State officials say KPERS is facing a more than $8 billion deficit in the coming decades. The Senate rejected a proposal that would have put new employees in a 401(k)-style plan. The House will now consider the Senate bill.