The Kansas Senate passed a bill to issue $1 billion in pension obligation bonds to improve the funding of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, Topeka.
The bill, which could reduce the state’s long-term contributions to state/school employees, KPERS’ largest employee group, passed Thursday by a 21-17 vote. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives.
As of Dec. 31, 2013, the pension fund had $9.8 billion in unfunded liabilities and a 60% funding ratio.
In 2003, the General Assembly approved a $500 million bond issuance for KPERS. “Investment return on the proceeds has exceeded the bond rate by more than $174 million,” as of Sept. 30, said Kristen Basso, KPERS spokeswoman, in an e-mail.
Alan Conroy, executive director of the $16 billion Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, and Sen. Jeff King, chair of the Senate Select Committee on KPERS, which introduced the bill, could not immediately be reached for comment.