Working Today For Your Tomorrow

Membership & Contributions

Throughout your career, you contribute part of your salary to the Retirement System. Your employer also contributes to the trust fund. KPERS then invests these funds and, when you retire, pays you a guaranteed monthly benefit for the rest of your life.

Kansas law requires that all eligible employees must become members. Your contributions are credited with interest annually on June 30, based on the balance in your account on December 31 of the year before (i.e. interest credited on June 30, 2014 is based on your account balance as of December 31, 2013).

If you became a member:

  • Before July 1, 1993, your contributions earn 8 percent interest.
  • On or after July 1, 1993, your contributions earn 4 percent interest.

Kansas law does not allow you to borrow from your contributions. Your account balance does not affect your retirement benefits.

You automatically earn service credit for the years you work in a covered position. After a number of years of service, you are guaranteed a benefit. This is called "vesting."

Retirement System

You are vested when you have...
Contribution Rate
KPERS 1 5 years of service 5%
6% starting Jan. 2015
KPERS 2 5 years of service 6%
KP&F Tier I 20 years of service 7.15%
KP&F Tier II 15 years of service 7.15%
Judges At election or appointment 6%

Six months or more is rounded up for vesting. Example: 4.5 years rounds up to 5 years.

If you have participated in more than one Retirement System, you may be able to combine years of service credit towards vesting.


As a new member, one of the first things you'll be asked to do is name a beneficiary for your contributions.

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Basic Life Insurance & Death Benefits

Basic Life Insurance (KPERS, Correctional, Judges)

You have basic group life insurance equal to 150 percent of your annual salary. The cost of this benefit is paid by your employer.

You can name different beneficiaries for your life insurance and retirement benefits. See Naming Your Beneficiary for details.

Life insurance ends when you leave employment. However, you can continue your coverage on your own. Learn more.

Death Benefits (KPERS, Correctional, Judges)

In the event of your death, The Retirement System also returns your contributions and interest. In certain situations, your spouse may be able to choose a monthly benefit instead of receiving your contributions. Please see Surviving Spouse Benefit Option for details.

Accelerated Death Benefit

If you are diagnosed as terminally ill with 12 months or fewer to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100 percent of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving a death benefit.
Minnesota Life Insurance Accelerated Death Benefit Claim Form (PDF, 33KB)

Job-Related Death (KPERS only)

If you die from an on-the-job accident, your spouse receives a monthly benefit based on 50 percent of your final average salary, less Workers' Compensation. The minimum benefit is $100 per month. He or she also receives a $50,000 lump-sum payment. This is in addition to your life insurance and returned contributions plus interest.

Death Benefits (KP&F)

KP&F death benefits cover regular Tier I and Tier II members, Brazelton, and Transfer members. Benefits are automatically paid to your spouse and/or eligible children. Children are eligible up to age 18, or 23 if a full-time student. If you do not have a surviving spouse or eligible children, your beneficiary receives a one-time lump-sum benefit.

Service-Connected Death

Your spouse receives an annual benefit of 50 percent of your final average salary in on-going monthly payments for the rest of his or her life. Your children, if eligible, also receive an annual benefit of 10 percent of your final average salary. The maximum total benefit is 75 percent of your final average salary. If you do not have a surviving spouse or eligible children, your beneficiary receives a lump sum equal to your current annual salary.

Non Service-Connected Death

Your spouse receives a lump-sum payment of 100 percent of your final average salary, plus an annual benefit of your final average salary  x  2.5 percent   x  years of service in on-going monthly payments for the rest of his or her life. The maximum annual benefit is 50 percent of your final average salary. If you do not have a surviving spouse, your eligible children share the benefit. If you do not have a surviving spouse or eligible children, your beneficiary receives a lump sum equal to your current annual salary.

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Optional Group Life Insurance

Optional group life insurance is coverage beyond your regular death benefit. You pay the cost of this coverage. Many employers offer optional group life insurance, including the State of Kansas. Check with your employer about participation.

Coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $250,000 in $5,000 increments. New employees are eligible for an initial $50,000 of guaranteed coverage without proof of good health within 30 days of their hire date. You must provide proof of good health for amounts over $50,000. Optional life insurance premiums are automatically deducted from your pay.

Other Optional Insurance Details

  • You can start or increase coverage at any time with proof of good health.
  • You can enroll for or increase your coverage by up to $25,000 without proof of good health when you have a family status change like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption.
  • With the "Accelerated Death Benefit," if you are diagnosed as terminally ill with 12 months or fewer to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100 percent of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving a death benefit. Minnesota Life Insurance Accelerated Death Benefit Claim Form, (PDF, 33KB)

If You Leave Employment

Life insurance ends when you leave employment. However, you can continue your coverage on your own. Learn more. Back to Top


Disability Benefits

Disability benefits vary depending on which retirement group you belong to. To find out more about your disability benefits click on your retirement group below.


Service Purchase

You may be able to increase your benefit and possibly retire earlier by purchasing service credit. If you are eligible, you can purchase service credit by making additional contributions.

Now Is the Time to Buy

Don’t wait. Purchase costs are based on salary and age. Now is probably the most inexpensive time for you to buy. Also, you can only purchase credit while an active member.

Types of Service You Can Purchase

The types of service credit you can purchase depends on the Retirement System.

Check with your designated agent to see if your past public service qualifies. He or she also will be able to help you start the purchase process.

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Tax Information

You Need to Claim KPERS Contributions on Your Kansas Income Tax Return

This applies to active members of all Retirement System plans:

  • Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS)
  • Kansas Police and Firemen's Retirement System (KP&F)
  • Kansas Retirement System for Judges (Judges)

The amount you contribute each year from your salary to the Retirement System is subject to Kansas income tax. Your contributions are deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis for federal income tax purposes. Because of this, you need to add the contributions back into your gross income when you file your Kansas state income taxes each year.

  1. Complete a Schedule S for the Kansas income tax return to find out your modification to federal adjusted gross income.
  2. Enter the total amount you contributed to KPERS during the past calendar year on line A2 of Schedule S.
  3. Find this amount on your W-2, typically in Box #14.
  4. Enter the amount from line A19 on Schedule S on line #2 "Modifications to Federal Adjusted Gross Income" on form K-40 Kansas Individual Income Tax.

See the "Schedule S Line-By-Line Instructions" in the Kansas Income Tax Booklet for more information or contact the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Read more about KPERS & taxes, including tax information about withdrawals, retirement benefits, beneficiaries and frequently asked questions.

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Retirement Payment Options

As a retiree, you will receive a monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. In addition, we have retirement payment options that add financial flexibility and allow you to provide for loved ones after your death.

Maximum Monthly Benefit Option
This option is the maximum monthly benefit you can receive. There is no continued monthly benefit after your death.

Joint-Survivor Option
You can provide a continuing monthly benefit for someone after your death. Survivor benefits are equal to 50 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent of your benefit and are paid for the rest of your survivor's life. To provide this continuing benefit, your monthly benefit is reduced. Your benefit decreases as your joint annuitant's benefit increases.

Life-Certain Option
If you die within a guaranteed period of time from retirement, your beneficiary will receive the same monthly benefit for the rest of that guaranteed period. Your monthly payments are reduced based on whether you chose the five-, ten-, or 15-year life-certain option. You can change beneficiaries at any time.

Partial Lump-Sum Option
You can take part of your retirement benefit in an up-front lump sum at retirement. This lump sum is then combined with one of the other retirement options to provide reduced, regular monthly payments for the rest of your life. KPERS 1, all KP&F and Judges have the PLSO available in 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 percent amounts of the actuarial present value of your benefit. KPERS 2 members can choose a 10, 20 or 30 percent option.

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Estimating Your Benefit

Benefits are calculated using a formula that includes your final average salary, a statutory multiplier and your years of service. To calculate your retirement estimate click on your retirement group below.


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