Retired Employees Association News
January 2013 Update
Retired Employees Association members Ernie Claudel and Ron Gardner, who are also members of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees, provide a list of legislators serving on the House Committee on Pensions and Benefits. Questions may be directed to Claudel at (913) 491-6923 or email@example.com, and Gardner at (913) 782-8175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please use the following format when writing to the representatives:
Office Number or Office Designation
Kansas State Capitol
300 SW 10th. Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612-3232
- Chairman Steven Johnson, District 108 in Assaria, Office 286N, 785-296-7696 email@example.com
- Vice Chair Jim Howell, District 81 in Derby, Office 459W, 785-296-7665 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ranking Minority Kathy Wolf-Moore, District 39 in Kansas City, Office 47S, 785-296-7688 email@example.com
- John Barker, District 70 in Abilene, Office 176W, 785-296-7674 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Daniel Hawkins, District 100 in Wichita, Office 165W, 785-296-7631 email@example.com
- Kevin Jones, District 5 in Wellsville, Office 512N, 785-296-6287 firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Kelly, District 11 in Independence, Office 512N, 785-296-6014 email@example.com
- Charles Mancheers, District 39 in Shawnee, Office 352S, 785-296-7675 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard Proehl, District 7 in Parsons, Office 581W, 785-296-7639 email@example.com
- John Rubin, District 18 in Shawnee, Office 151S, 785-296-7690 firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Todd, District 29 in Overland Park, Office 268W, 785-296-7695 email@example.com
- John Alcala, District 57 in Topeka, Office 173W, 785-296-7371 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Virgil Weigel, District 56 in Topeka, Office 173W, 785-296-7366 email@example.com
October 2012 Update
During the October meeting of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees a list of "KPERS Truths" was presented. Retired Employees Association members Ernie Claudel and Ron Gardner, who are also members of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees, share these items with their fellow retirees.
KPERS Truths as Presented by the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees
- No KPERS retiree has received a cost-of-living adjustment since the last was granted in 1998. Some long-time KPERS retirees received a one-time bonus of $300 in 2007 and again in 2008.
- Less than half of those presently retired have received the last COLA or the two bonuses offered.
- The official measure of U.S. inflation is calculated monthly by the Consumer Price Index, (CPI). The cost-of-living as determined by the CPI has increased by 40 percent since the last benefit adjustment was granted in 1998, 14 years ago.
- To finance the KPERS retirement program, the employer and the employee make mandatory contributions to the KPERS trust fund as specified in the law. The State of Kansas has not met the statutorily required contribution rate in at least 17 years.
- The State of Kansas and approximately 1,500 local employing units of government make regular payments to the KPERS trust fund. All will be affected by the new Cash Balance (Tier 3) changes in KPERS.
- The U.S. Social Security program relies heavily on past and current worker contributions to finance the system. The KPERS program, unlike Social Security however, finances the system from pre-funded contributions and interest earnings of the employee and the employer during the work life of the covered employee.
- Any rise in the Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL), poses a significant risk to the long-term financial security of KPERS. The present KPERS system and the newly approved cash balance system provide that all employer and employee contributions will be made to the KPERS trust fund for the payment of employee benefits. Currently the "pooled KPERS funds" allow for investment earnings which may be used to reduce the UAL. Funds deposited on behalf of each employee (whether by the employee or the employer) in a "defined contribution system" would require separate accounting thereby restricting the earnings potential of the KPERS fund. Attempts to move to a "defined contribution program" such as a 401(k) model severely limit any means to reduce the Unfunded Actuarial Liability.
- Every KPERS retiree has paid in every dime they were required, and they have all met the requirements necessary to receive KPERS benefits as outlined by the Kansas KPERS statutes. (These statutes are established by the Kansas Legislature.)
- No KPERS retiree receives more in KPERS retirement benefits than they did in wages while working. This would be a mathematical impossibility.
- The average current monthly KPERS benefit is approximately $1,100. Under the entire KPERS umbrella, less than 1.2 percent receive over $50,000 annually in KPERS benefits. Nearly one-third of all KPERS retirees receive less than $500 per month. The KPERS benefit retirement formula is designed to provide approximately 50 percent of the retiree's final average salary.
- During calendar year 2011, KPERS paid approximately $103.9 million each month to retirees. Nearly 88 percent of all KPERS payments are made to Kansas residents.
- For state fiscal year 2013, the Legislature approved $2.75 million from the KPERS Trust Fund to implement a new KPERS cash balance plan.
- Under the new cash balance retirement plan, new legislators after Jan. 1, 2015 will be allowed to once again annualize their total pay (legislative compensation, daily expenses and non-session expenses just like under the present system). The only change the Legislature made in their retirement plan was to reduce the annualized days from 372 (31 days x 12 months) to 365.
- The KPERS Trust Fund is derived from three sources: employee-required contributions, employer contributions to the KPERS program on behalf of each covered employee, and over the last 20 years, 59 percent of the KPERS trust fund was realized through investment earnings. (KPERS retirement benefits are paid from the total of these three sources as authorized by the statutes which govern KPERS.)