[email protected]      Toll-free: 1-888-275-5737 or Topeka: 785-296-6166

Board of Trustees Election

Your retirement matters to you. KPERS is part of that. How we take care of it now affects us all.

KPERS 2021 Board Election Logo  

Vote April 1-30

In 2021, retired and active members will elect a School Member Trustee. These candidates are members just like you. Having an elected school trustee lets you have your voice heard and keeps a member's point-of-view in the Board room.

The KPERS Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members. Seven are elected by State leaders and two are elected by Retirement System members. All serve four-year terms. Current trustees

KPERS Board members oversee operations and safeguard the System's assets. The board sets the tone for organizational initiatives. Board duties

Please be sure to vote in April to elect your School Trustee.

Vote Now!

How to Vote

3 ways to vote in the 2021 KPERS Board Election

2021 Candidates

Board Member Candidate Ernie Claudel

Ernie Claudel

From Olathe, Retired teacher and school administrator

Ernie (Paul E.) Claudel is retired from public education after 33 years as an elementary classroom teacher and building administrator, mostly in the Olathe School District. He is currently an elected school member of the KPERS Board of Trustees, now completing a second 4-year term.

Ernie also serves as co-chair of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees and is the Legislative Chairman for Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel. He presently lobbies for both groups. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from FHSU, with graduate hours from KU. He is honorably discharged from the US Army Security Agency. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service.

Since 2003 he has studied the KPERS system and observed the committees which oversee and govern KPERS, as well as monitoring the KPERS Commission of 2011.

He and his wife of 53 years, Janet, live in Olathe. They have two adult children.

Board Member Candidate Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs

From Ellinwood, Superintendent of USD 355 Ellinwood

Ben Jacobs currently serves as Superintendent of USD 355 Ellinwood Public Schools. He has provided 22 years of educational service to the Ellinwood and Hoisington Public School Districts as a math teacher, coach and administrator. Ben has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has been honored with the Yale Educator Award.

He has held local and state leadership and board positions, including Ellinwood Rotary Club President, Kansas School Superintendents’ Association (KSSA) Board of Directors, and Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Board of Directors and Executive Board, the latter as secretary/treasurer and vice president.

Ben currently supervises both defined benefit and defined contribution plans for USD 355, including KPERS and 403(b) investment vehicles, for the benefit of its employees and retirees. Ben has closely studied KPERS governance since his inclusion as member in 1999.

Ben and his wife, Julie, have twins, Banks and Bennett


Although KPERS holds a Board of Trustees election every four years, there was only one candidate for the non-school election, current Trustee Ryan Trader. Therefore, we will not have a non-school election. Mr. Trader will be re-elected to his current seat, with the new term starting July 1, 2021.

Board Election 2021 Video

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  Helpful Links

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
611 S. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603
Toll-free: 1 888 - 275-5737
Email: [email protected]

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