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Committee Authorizes Bonds To Pay KPERS Debt

A state House committee has voted to authorize $1.5 billion dollars in bonds to bolster the state pension system for teachers and state government workers.

The Pensions and Benefits Committee vote was close- 7-6, and reflected a split of opinions over whether the legislation did enough to address a long-term funding gap facing the pension system.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) is projecting an more than $9 billion gap between anticipated revenues and funds owed to employees through 2033. The state's assets will cover a little more than half of its obligations.

KPERS Executive Director Alan Conroy says putting the proceeds from the bonds into the pension system would bump up the funding ratio.

The bill will go the full House for debate next.