Member Benefits

Employer Manual



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Quick Vids

What is it?

Basic life insurance provides insurance for active KPERS members paid for by the employer

Who is covered?

Basic life insurance covers all employees working in KPERS-covered positions and all employees participating in the Retirement System for Judges and the Board of Regents Retirement Plan, as well as legislators and State officers not in KPERS.

Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) administers KPERS life insurance benefit.

Note: Contact The Standard for printed copies of the Certificate of Coverage booklets for new employees.

The Standard Local Office

What is the coverage amount?

150% of the higher of:

  • A member's current annual rate of compensation, which is the member's hourly wage times the number of hours the position requires, or
  • The member's previous 12-month salary.

Military service and other leave of absence

Basic life insurance continues while an employee is on active duty, at no cost to the employee. See Leaving KPERS-Covered Employment section of the Employer Manual for processing military and other leaves of absence.

Optional life insurance provides additional protection for employees beyond the basic life insurance. Employers affiliate for this benefit separately from other KPERS benefits. Not all employers participate. See affiliation and related dates, below. See the Optional Life Insurance section of the Employer Manual for details.

Dates Employees Can Affiliate Open Enrollment Period Coverage Affective Date
January 1 April July 1 (same year)
July 1 October January 1 (following year)

How much coverage can an employee apply for?

An employee can apply for as little as $5,000 and as much as $400,000 (in $5,000 increments).

When can members enroll in optional life insurance?

  • Within 30 days of their hire date, employees may choose up to $250,000 of optional life insurance coverage without answering any health questions. This is called "guaranteed coverage."
  • Members wanting guaranteed coverage outside of their first 30 days can also enroll during annual open enrollment or with a qualifying family status change.
  • Members who would live over $250,000 of coverage (up to $400,000) will need to provide proof of good health.

An employee can apply anytime with proof of good health. We call this underwritten insurance "anytime coverage."

Who pays the premium?

The entire cost of optional life coverage is paid by the employee through payroll deduction.

When does coverage become effective?

  • $250,000 or less (guaranteed coverage): effective the date the member applies.
  • Over $250,000 (anytime coverage): effective the date the member is approved. KPERS will send a letter.
  • If, due to sickness or injury, the member is not actively at work on the effective date, coverage becomes effective the first day following the date the member returns to work.

Good to know: Employees can reduce or cancel their coverage anytime.

After ending employment, an employee may continue life insurance coverage by:

Kansas law requires that employees be given at least 15 days notice before the policy expires, including ending employment, disability, leave of absences and moving to a non-covered position.

See the Leaving Employment section of the online Employer Manual for details and how this affects life insurance coverage.

Conversion rights

If notice is not given in that time period, employees have until 15 days after given notice, or 60 days after the conversion period in which the policy expires, whichever occurs first, to convert their coverage.

What is it?

The Active Member Death Benefit provide payment to an active member's beneficiary after his or her death.

What does the beneficiary receive?

The beneficiary will receive an insurance lump-sum payment and the member's contributions and interest.

Surviving spouse benefit option

For the option, the member's spouse must be listed as the only primary beneficiary. Instead of receiving the member's contributions and interest in a lump sum, the spouse may choose a lifetime monthly benefit instead.

  • If the member is eligible to retire at time of death, the spouse begins receiving a monthly benefit immediately.
  • If the member was not eligible to retire at time of death, but had at least 10 years of service credit,1 the spouse will begin receiving a monthly benefit at the earliest time the member would have been eligible (event if the monthly benefit is a reduced benefit for early retirement).2

1 5 years for KPERS 3
2 KPERS 3 must wait for full/normal retirement age

These benefits are in addition to the basic life insurance, any optional life insurance and returned contributions and interest.

  • $50,000 lump-sum payment
  • The surviving spouse will receive a lifetime annual benefit equal to the greater of:
    • 50% of the members' final average salary.
    • What the member would have been paid had he or she elected the 100% joint-survivor option.
  • The monthly benefit will be offset by any Workers' Compensation. The minimum monthly benefit after offset will be $100.
  • The death benefits are service-connected and will be non-taxable.

Benefits are paid in the order of preference:

  • Spouse
  • If no spouse, children up to age 18, or 23, if a full-time student
  • If no children, dependent parents
  • No benefits payable if no children or dependent parents

KP&F Service-Connected Death Benefit

See KP&F changes that started July 1, 2017, and are retroactive to July 1, 2016, in the KP&F Employers Manual.

Includes KPERS members serving as police officers and firefighters.