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Lawmakers Study Moving Kansas to Private Retirement System


Kansas lawmakers this week heard from industry experts about changing the state’s retirement plan from a traditional pension to a 401(k)-style retirement system. Under the proposed “defined contribution” system, employees are responsible for investing their retirement savings. That change would reduce the state's investment risk. Republican Representative Ron Ryckman says lawmakers need to consider all their options.

"We owe it to our employees and our taxpayers to look under every rock, look at every solution. And that’s what today’s about,” says Ryckman.

The current pension plan, KPERS, faces a long-term deficit, although lawmakers passed changes in recent years that would eventually pay off the shortfall. Democratic Representative Ed Trimmer says switching to a 401(k)-style plan doesn’t fix the funding issue and he believes lawmakers should stick with the current system.

This story comes from a partnership with Kansas Public Radio.

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Kansas Public Radio.