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KPERS Board To Consider Lowering Fiscal Forecast

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The return on investments made by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System hasn't consistently lived up to estimates, and it may lead KPERS officials to lower the forecast for the rate of return next month. As Stephen Koranda reports, lowering the forecast could have significant consequences.

Kansas has been wrangling with a long-term deficit in KPERS – one that runs into the billions of dollars. The state has increased payments to the system and has made other changes aimed at eliminating the deficit, but all those plans hinge on KPERS getting an 8 percent return on its investments. If that figure is lowered, the financial hole would get deeper.

At a recent legislative meeting, KPERS executive director Alan Conroy said they’ve been gathering information and crunching numbers.

“Then it will be up to the board based on that if they want to revise it. Certainly, as we look to other trust funds, the movement has been to something less than 8 percent,” Conroy says.

That could lead Kansas to lower the estimate, perhaps to 7.5 percent. The board could make that decision at a meeting next month or wait until next year.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.