KPERS 3 Benefits Members hired January 1, 2015 and after.
Throughout your career, you contribute part of your salary to the Retirement System. Your employer also contributes. 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 be members.
Your Online KPERS Account
Track your membership and plan details by logging in to your KPERS account. Inside your account you can:
- See your contributions and interest
- Download your annual statements
- View your beneficiaries
- Use the customized benefit calculator
After 5 years of service, you are guaranteed a benefit. This is called "vesting."
If you have participated in more than one Retirement System group, you may be able to combine years of service towards vesting.
If you leave employment before retiring you can withdraw your contributions.
5 Steps to How It Works
As a KPERS 3 member you contribute 6% of your income.
Kansas law does not allow you to borrow from your contributions.
Your contributions earn 4% interest annually (paid quarterly). There is also a possibility of additional interest, depending on KPERS' investment returns.
Your Retirement Credits
You earn retirement credits while working. They are based on a percentage of your pay and the number of years you’ve worked. You receive these credits quarterly and your annual credit rate increases the longer you work. They can only be used at retirement.
|Years You've Worked||Annual Credit Rate|
|< 5 years||3% of your pay|
|5-11 years||4% of your pay|
|12-23 years||5% of your pay|
|24+ years||6% of your pay|
Credits show as dollars. But that amount is not literally deposited into your account. Credits earn interest quarterly like your contributions.
How Benefits Are Funded
Your contributions are just one part of the funding that pays for your retirement benefit. Where does the rest come from? Employer contributions and KPERS investment returns.
Your age and the amount of service you have determines when you can retire. The minimum age and service requirements differ between membership groups.
Full Retirement Benefits
|5 Years of Service||10 Year of Service||30 Years of Service|
Reduced Retirement Benefits
At retirement, both your contribution account balance and your retirement credits are used to calculate your lifetime monthly benefit, along with some actuarial factors.
Benefit Payment Options
All retirement options pay you a guaranteed monthly benefit for the rest of your life. You can choose from different survivor payment options or have a regular cost-of-living increase. You can also have part of your benefit paid in an up-front lump sum with a reduced monthly benefit.
The base benefit is a 10-year life certain option. With a life-certain option, you will receive a monthly benefit for life. But, if you die within 10 years of retirement, your beneficiary will receive the same benefit for the rest of the 10-year period. Benefits are guaranteed for at least 10 years, no matter who receives them. And you will receive a benefit for life, no matter what. You can also choose a 5-year or 15-year life-certain option. They work the same way.
The joint-survivor option is another way to provide a survivor benefit. Survivor benefits are equal to 50%, 75% or 100% 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. Your survivor cannot be changed after you retire.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
At retirement, you can choose an annual 1% or 2% COLA option. Your benefit is reduced initially to fund the annual increase.
For Detailed Information
- Retirement Options KPERS 3 (PDF, 168KB)
As a member of KPERS you have basic life insurance, death benefits, disability benefits and possibly optional group life insurance.
Basic Life Insurance
You have basic group life insurance equal to 150% 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 coverage on your own.
Optional Group Life Insurance (OGLI)
Optional group life insurance is coverage beyond your basic life insurance. You pay the cost of this coverage through payroll deduction. Many employers offer optional group life insurance, including the State of Kansas. Check with your employer.
Coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $400,000 in $5,000 increments. New employees are eligible for $250,000 of guaranteed coverage (without proof of good health) within 31 days of their hire date. You must provide proof of good health for amounts over $250,000.
Guaranteed Coverage (No Health Questions):
|Guaranteed Coverage Max||$250,000||$25,000||$20,000|
|Annual open enrollment||up to $50,000 increase||up to $25,000||$10,000 for $1/mo or $20,000 for $2/mo|
|New hire||up to $250,000||up to $25,000||$10,000 for $1/mo or $20,000 for $2/mo|
|*Family status change||up to $50,000 increase||up to $25,000||$10,000 or $20,000|
*Within 31 days of marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or employment status change (member or spouse).
Anytime Coverage (Some Health Questions):
|Choice of $5,000 increments||$5,000 min
|only available w/new hire, open enrollment or family status change|
Other Optional Insurance Details
- You can start or increase coverage any time with proof of good health.
- With the "Accelerated Death Benefit," if you are diagnosed as terminally ill with 24 months or less to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving the insurance amount.
- Starting in January 2022: You have accidental death and dismemberment benefits. This covers you if you experience an occupational assault, or accidental death and dismemberment. Some exclusions apply. For full details, see the Optional Life Insurance brochure or the Certificate of Insurance.
Basic and Optional Group Life Insurance Brochure (PDF, 348KB)
Optional Group Life Insurance Enrollment Form (PDF, 571KB)
If You Leave Employment
Life insurance ends when you leave employment. However, you can continue your coverage on your own.
Disability benefits are based on 60% of your annual salary. You must be disabled for 180 days and no longer receive employer compensation. Your employer provides this benefit. You will continue to build your retirement benefit and have basic life insurance coverage. You can also continue any optional life insurance coverage.
To be considered disabled:
- First 24 months: You must be unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation.
- After 24 months: You must be unable to perform the material and substantial duties of any occupation.
To apply for KPERS disability benefits, contact your designated agent.
The Retirement System returns your contributions and interest if you die. 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 24 months or fewer to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving the insurance amount.
Job-Related Death (KPERS only)
If you die from an on-the-job accident, there is an additional death benefit for your spouse.
KPERS 3 Publications
Naming a Beneficiary
Active members can name separate beneficiaries for:
1. KPERS retirement benefits (return of contributions and interest, or surviving spouse benefit).
2. Group life insurance benefits (basic and optional).
You can add or change beneficiaries at any time by completing a Designation of Beneficiary form (K-7/99).
For full details on beneficiaries see Naming a Beneficiary.
You need to claim your KPERS contributions on your Kansas income Tax Return. This applies to all active members of all Retirement System plans. Read more tax information.