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Moodys Says KPERS Bond Sale Risky

U.S. currency in the form of $100 bills  (Photo by J. Schafer)
U.S. currency in the form of $100 bills (Photo by J. Schafer)

Kansas officials are defending the state's decision to sell $1 billion in bonds in an effort to boost the short-term financial health of KPERS, its public pension system. Kansas is selling the bonds after legislators authorized the sale earlier this year.  Officials with KPERS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, say they expect to earn more from investing the bond proceeds than the state will pay to investors over 30 years. But Dan Seymour of Moody’s Investors Service calls the bond sale risky. "You're essentially placing a wager." Seymour said. "You're borrowing money, paying interest on that money and, in the meantime, you're investing it hoping your return on the investment will exceed the interest you're paying on what you've borrowed. That might work or it might not." Seymour also says the bond sale does little to solve the long-term problem, closing the system’s $9.5 billion shortfall in the fund to pay retired state workers.


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