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Economy

Pew Report: Unfunded Pension Costs Are Largest Claim On Future Revenues In KS

A report out this week from Pew Charitable Trusts found that unfunded pensions are the largest claim on future revenues in the state of Kansas.

The data set looks at the debt of all 50 states, the money owed into pension funds, and future money owed for retiree health care.

Using data from 2013, the report found Kansas has a $9.8 billion shortfall between the benefits promised to teachers and government workers and the savings available to meet those obligations.

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Credit Pew Charitable Research

“The significant claims on future revenue further tighten the fiscal handcuffs on the state," says Kill Huh, senior director of state and local fiscal health at Pew Charitable Trusts. "Kansas, like many other states, faces a looming pension liability and the increase in debt has also posed a challenge in recent years for the state.”

Huh says that with the $1 billion dollars in pension obligation bonds issued last year, Kansas' debt will get worse.

As part of the state budget signed on Wednesday, Gov. Brownback further delayed a $90 million KPERS payment, plus 8 percent interest.

KPERS currently has only about 67 percent of the funds it currently owes to future retirees.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW

 
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