News Columns & Blogs

KPERS requires real reforms

It's an overstatement to say, as a report from the University of Kansas' Center for Applied Economics did this week, that the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System is "bankrupt." But KPERS, which lost $2.9 billion in worth last fiscal year due to stock-market declines, clearly is facing long-term financial challenges. As a result, KPERS needs some significant reforms, including possibly increasing employee contributions and reducing benefits. Lawmakers can't rely on more wishful thinking, as they did in 2004, when the state borrowed $500 million for KPERS to invest in the stock market.