Lawmakers Debate State's Pension Problems

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Monday, February 20, 2012

The House Pension and Benefits Committee began work Monday on a new plan for overhauling the Kansas Public Employees Retirement

Chairman Mitch Holmes, a St. John Republican, and Vice Chairman John Grange, an El Dorado Republican, outlined separate proposals
for a retirement plan for new hires.

Their proposals wouldn't continue existing KPERS plans that guarantee benefits up front based on a worker's salary and years of
experience. But benefits also wouldn't be based solely on investment earnings, as they are in a 401(k) plan.

Public employee groups saw it as significant movement toward a
compromise. The groups strongly oppose creating a 401(k)-style

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Kansas House committee is preparing to draft a new proposal for overhauling the pension system for teachers and government workers.

The Pensions and Benefits Committee's agenda for its Monday morning meeting called for a discussion of alternatives to a plan drafted last year by a study commission. The commission proposed starting a 401(k)-style plan for new public employees.

The commission's proposal faces strong opposition from public employee groups, which want the Kansas Public Employees retirement System to stick with traditional plans that guarantee benefits up front, based on a worker's salary and years of service.

But the House committee isn't likely to give up on starting a new 401(k)-style plan, tying retirement benefits to investment earnings. The panel is led by Republicans who support the idea.

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