TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly on Thursday signed bipartisan legislation that transfers more than $1 billion from the state’s General Fund to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), according to a press release from her office.
Senate Bill 421 will provide immediate and long-term benefits to the state by eliminating debt from state balance sheets and reducing future employer assessments.
Click here for more details on Senate Bill 421
“Balancing the budget, paying down the debt and providing financial relief to the Kansans has always been my top priority – and today we delivered on that promise,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We are repairing the damage done to KPERS because our public service employees and retirees deserve to have their pension funds replenished after the previous administration skipped payments to cover reckless tax policy.”
SB 421 will provide immediate and long-term benefits to the state by reducing debt owed to the fund and further strengthening the state’s historic financial strength.
Paying off this debt builds on Governor Kelly’s exceptional record of reducing debts that the previous administration simply passed on to future generations of Kansans to pay for reckless fiscal policy.
“This legislation reimburses all delayed KPERS contributions, which is a great relief to KPERS members and their beneficiaries,” said State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “Governor Kelly’s record of paying down large debts gives us the ability to better serve the people of Kansas and focus on investing in our future.”
In addition to funding KPERS, the state should repay hundreds of millions of dollars in bond debt, as recommended by the governor in January. The Governor also repaid a loan from the Pooled Money Investment Board two years ahead of schedule.
“Since being elected governor, Laura Kelly has demonstrated her unwavering support for improving the financial strength and resilience of our state’s public employee retirement system.” Alan D. Conroy, executive director of KPERS, said. “SB 421 not only makes significant progress in reducing our long-term unfunded actuarial liability, it also completely eliminates long-term KPERS debt from the books. Overall, this one-time funding injection will provide immediate savings to the state, result in a significant reduction in KPERS payments over the long term, and further confirm to our retirees that they will receive the full pension benefits they have. earned from their public service in Kansas to the state, cities and counties and local school districts.