Kansas House OKs cash balance plan for state workers

The Kansas House passed a bill Tuesday that would close the $13 billion Kansas Public Employees Retirement System to new state employees.

The vote was 92-33.

Under the bill, employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2014, would receive a one-time choice of being enrolled in a new cash balance plan or a new defined contribution plan.

Kristen Basso, spokeswoman for KPERS in Topeka, said in an e-mail that KPERS officials do not weigh in on legislative issues.

The bill does not apply to participants in the Kansas Police & Fire Retirement System.

An amendment in the bill also calls for 75% of the state's Expanded Lottery Act Revenues Fund to be used to help fund KPERS' unfunded liabilities.

The Kansas Senate has not proposed a bill of its own or taken a stand on the issue at this point, said Tony Venturella, spokesman for state Senate President Steve Morris and chairman of the Joint Committee on Pensions, Investments and Benefits.