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Give Yourself a Financial Physical

You probably get an annual physical. Your doctor checks a few things, like your blood pressure and cholesterol, to track your health. Hopefully, your blood is pumping at 120/80 and your cholesterol is under 200.

It’s a little different when it comes time to check your financial health. There are no real benchmark numbers because everyone’s situation is different. But it may help to gauge your own situation if you look at how other people are doing.
Debt and savings are a couple vital signs that are a good indicator of your overall financial health.

Debt Levels

This 2016 data from the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, Equifax and Experian shows how other Americans as well as other Kansans check up on debt.

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Savings Rates

In 2016, GOBankingRates asked more than 7,000 people nationwide how much was in their savings accounts. The survey showed Americans are falling short when it comes to saving money. About 35% had $0 in savings. Kansans had better savings levels than the rest of the nation, though, with the lowest percentage of residents with $0 saved. 38% of Kansans had more than $10,000 in savings versus 15% nationwide. Where do you stand with your savings?

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Retirement Options: A Choice That's Different for Everyone

When you retire, you’ll have a lot of important decisions. One that really stands out is choosing how you want us to pay you your retirement benefit. There’s no one-size-fits-all choice. Consider how each option fits your financial needs.

Maximum Monthly Benefit: benefit for the rest of your life with no survivor benefit. Not available for KPERS 3 members.

    You Might Consider if You:
  • Don't have a spouse or dependents.
  • Have a spouse who has sufficient retirement income of his/her own.
  • Have enough life insurance to financially protect your spouse.

Joint-Survivor Option: reduced benefit for the rest of your life, followed by a benefit paid to your named survivor for life. The higher your survivor's benefit, the more yours is reduced. Your survivor's age also affects your benefit.

    You Might Consider if You:
  • Have a spouse who needs a guaranteed lifetime income after your death.
  • Wish to name a survivor other than a spouse who is similar in age.

Life-Certain Option: slightly reduced benefit for the rest of your life, with a 5, 10 or 15-year guaranteed period beginning at retirement. If you die during the guaranteed period, your beneficiary receives the same benefit for the rest of the period.

    You Might Consider if You:
  • Have a spouse or beneficiary who needs income for a limited time.
  • Want to provide income for someone much younger.
  • Wish to provide a benefit for more than one beneficiary or be able to change beneficiaries anytime.

Partial Lump Sum Option: A percentage of your estimated lifetime benefit in a lump sum at retirement. This lump sum is combined with one of the other retirement options to provide reduced, regular monthly payments for the rest of your life.

    You Might Consider if You:
  • Have sufficient retirement income from other sources.
  • Are comfortable managing your own investments.
  • Need funds for a large purchase or debt.

For info about your options, see the “Retirement Options” fliers on our Publications webpage.

Need more info? Join KPERS staff for an online pre-retirement webinar. They’re designed for members within 5 years of retirement. Webinars cover a variety of retirement topics, including payment options.

KPERS 101 How to: Benefit Estimates

Did You Know?

In FY17, the Retirement System had...

  • Over 22,000 new members
  • Almost 5,700 retirements

1. Personal KPERS Account. Login to calculate an estimate with your actual info from our system. It’s easy and secure. You can even save your estimates for later.
2. Generic Calculator. Find the Calculators link at the top of our home page. Choose the calculator for your membership group, then use the information from your last annual statement.
3. Request an Estimate. KPERS staff can calculate an estimate for you. Just complete the Estimate Request form. This method is especially useful for KPERS 3 members or KPERS 1 members who may have add-on pay for unused leave. 

We're Making the Grade

45, 83, 9

CEM Benchmarking, Inc. is an independent research firm that evaluates pension plans all over the world, including KPERS.
The results help us improve customer service, set goals and manage costs. Here are a few highlights from our latest report card.

Cost per member


This is what it costs KPERS to administer benefits. That’s about 45% lower than the peer average of $83 per member. And we continue to have the lowest costs in our peer group.



Out of 100 possible points. Just because we’re frugal doesn’t mean we skimp where it matters. Our score matches the peer median. Higher service scores mean faster turnaround times, more choices and higher quality.

Call Center

9 sec

How fast we answer your calls. Our overall call center service score was 91 out of 100. When you call KPERS, you’ll visit with a friendly and knowledgeable representative right away. In this category, only one other system in our peer group scored higher.

As a fiduciary, we put your interests first. That includes keeping costs low while providing quality service. These results show our commitment to providing great customer service while controlling costs.

KPERS Investment Snapshot as of 7/31/2017

graph showing KPERS return overtime. *average annualized total returns as of July 31, 2017

Contact KPERS: Phone 1-888-275-5737 or email [email protected]

Our Mission: In our fiduciary capacity, we exist to deliver retirement, disability and survivor benefits to our members and their beneficiaries. The fiduciary standard is our driving force. That means we put the interest of our members first. It is the highest standard of care and accountability. A fiduciary relationship is highlighted by good faith, loyalty and trust.

Board of Trustees: Lois Cox (Chair), Kelly Arnold (Vice Chair), Ernie Claudel, Shawn Creger, James C. Cusser, Jake LaTurner, Ryan Trader, Suresh Ramamurthi, Michael Rogers

Executive Director: Alan D. Conroy