Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to fill a budget hole includes reducing payments to the state’s retirement plan in the short term. A deficit in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System is currently projected to be eliminated in 2033. Brownback’s proposal would extend that by 10 years. Alan Conroy, the head of KPERS, says it’s similar to extending the mortgage on a home.
“You can lower your payments now, but if you add 10 years of payments you’re going to pay more for those 10 years,” says Conroy.
Brownback also suggests issuing bonds to give KPERS a $1.5 billion shot of cash. Conroy says the proposed changes would cost the state an extra $3.7 billion over the long term.