Message From the Executive Director Alan Conroy

Changes to Working After Retirement for KPERS and KP&F, Retiree Death Benefit and Alternative Investment Cap and KPERS Funding Status

I would like to take this opportunity to share an update with you about KPERS-related bills from the most recently concluded regular Legislative Session. Key topics of interest included working after retirement, the retiree death benefit, retirement benefit multipliers, retiree cost-of-living adjustments, changes to KPERS 3, an alternative investment cap increase and more.

While there was considerable interest in making changes to the KPERS 3 retirement plan, those efforts were not successful. I believe this is still a topic of discussion at the Statehouse, so you may hear more about potential changes next year. In addition, there was no cost-of-living adjustment approved for our KPERS retirees.

However, in April the Legislature passed House Bill No. 2711. The bill enhances working after retirement, increases the retiree death benefit and adjusts our alternative investment cap. I am pleased to share this quick look at the changes. For full details, please see our KPERS Summary.

Today, employers pay a 30% contribution rate for KPERS retirees who earn more than $25,000 in a calendar year. HB 2711 increases the salary limit to $40,000 for when the 30% rate applies. For KP&F retirees, their $25,000 earnings limit increases to $40,000. This applies to those who return to work for a KP&F employer where they worked two years before retiring.

HB 2711 also added some working after retirement exemptions for select employees at Community Development Disability Organizations. In addition, HB 2711 raises the retiree death benefit to $6,000 as of July 1, 2024 (currently at $4,000). As you may know, members can name a person, estate, trust or funeral home to receive the benefit.

Lastly, the bill increases KPERS’ alternative investments cap to 25% (previously at 15%). This includes investments like private equity, infrastructure and real estate. An increased  cap lets the KPERS Board diversify and manage risk within Trust Fund investments. Our staff is working to implement all changes and technology related to this legislation.

The KPERS Trust Fund is now more than $27 billion (as of March 31, 2024). Our most recent annual rate of return is in excess of 8% (as of March 31, 2024). For the sixth year in a row the Governor and the Legislature have authorized payment of the actuarially required employer contributions to KPERS. These payments are key to the long-term funding position of KPERS.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions ([email protected] or 785-296-6880). Thank you for your public service.

Alan Conroy KPERS' Executive Director Headshot

Alan D. Conroy, Executive Director