KPERS fund deficit on the decline

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A bit of relief for more than 300,000 state employees came from the Capitol on Monday.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement Fund (KPERS) presented its required annual report to the Joint Committee on Pensions, Investments and Benefits. The report shows KPERS is slowly recovering and shrinking the amount of debt owed to the fund after years of struggling.

Kansans from across the state rely on KPERS for their retirement. It’s the plan for state workers, including public teachers. KPERS Executive Director, Alan Conroy, said since 1993 the legislature had not been fully funding its required contribution amount. This created a deficit.

In recent years, the legislature has been paying additional funds in order to catch up. Now after 25 years, the state required amount is being paid to the KPERS fund.

“It will start to decrease pretty markedly over the next several years and the funded ratio and the strength of the system will continue to improve on its way to 100%,” explains Conroy.

Currently, there is still a $9.2 billion unfunded liability. Conroy said if all holds steady, it is projected that the KPERS deficit will be completely paid off by 2033.

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