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Pension Funds

Kansas Senate passes bill issuing $115 million to KPERS

The Kansas Senate passed a bill allocating $115 million from the state general fund to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, Topeka.

Senate Bill 9, which could reduce the state's long-term contributions to school employees, KPERS' largest employee group, passed Tuesday by a 40-0 vote. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

"As folks better understand that every day we don't make this payment is increasing the interest due by almost $21,000, they tend to pay attention," said Sen. Molly Baumgardner, the bill's author. "By us making this payment, it brings that funding ratio to the highest point that it will have been in 25 years."

In his testimony on SB 9 provided by Kristen Basso, spokeswoman for the $18.8 billion pension system, KPERS' Executive Director Alan Conroy, said: "Making the payment will result in (fiscal year 2019) payments meeting the actuarial required contribution. ... Making this payment sets the course for all future payments to be at the actuarial rate."

Mr. Conroy added in his testimony that the entire $115 million KPERS payment would be credited to the school group, which has the lowest funding ratio at 61.6%, well below the total KPERS funding ratio of 68.4%.