KPERS

KPERS changes

 

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) was established in 1961 for State of Kansas public employees to provide a defined benefit pension plan. KPERS membership is mandatory for all employees in eligible positions regardless of age. Those employed before July 1, 2009 are Tier 1 members. Those employed in covered positions on or after July 1, 2009 are Tier 2 members. Go to BenefitWise for the latest member newsletter.

Contributions

Employee contributions are fixed by statute at 6 percent of gross compensation (4% for Tier 1 members) and are excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes. Employee contributions are taxable for state income tax purposes.

Employer contributions may fluctuate depending on the funding needs of KPERS. The employer contributions remain with KPERS at the time an employee terminates and withdraws.

Retirement Guidelines

Tier 1: (Changes for 2014 - Learn more)

Normal retirement for KPERS members is at age 65 with at least two quarters of service requirement. Members under age 65 may retire without reduction in benefits in the following situations:

  • Members at age 62 with 10 years of service; or
  • Members whose attained age plus years of service equal 85.

Members may retire with reduced benefits as early as age 55 if they have at least ten years of service. A reduction factor of 0.2 percent for each month between age 60 and 62 and 0.6 percent for each month between ages 55 and 60 will apply.

Tier 2: (Changes for 2014 - Learn more)

Normal retirement for Tier 2 KPERS members is at age 65 with at least 5 years of participating service or age 60 with at least 30 years of service. Members may retire with reduced benefits as early as age 55 if they have at least 10 years of participating service.

Surviving Spouse Benefit Option:

If a member dies before retirement, the spouse may be able to choose a monthly benefit for the rest of his or her life, instead of receiving returned contributions and interest. The member must have designated the spouse as the sole primary beneficiary for retirement benefits.

Situtation #1: If the member was eligible to retire, your spouse begins receiving a monthly benefit immediately.

Situation #2: If the member was not yet eligible to retire but had ten years of service, the spouse begins receiving a monthly benefit when the member would have reached age 55.

Members can name contingent beneficiaries or separate beneficiaries for life insurance without affecting this benefit option.

Benefit Calculations

Try out a new calculator on the KPERS home page. This calculator is designed to help you calculate what your retirement benefits will be. Benefits are based on credited service and certain salaries. Prior and participating service benefits are based on the final average salary. The final average salary is the greater of either the average highest four years of participating service, including sick and annual leave payouts; or the average highest three years of participating service, excluding sick and annual leave payments (for individuals who were first hired on or after July 1, 1993, this is the only option). If participating service is less than four years the average annual compensation paid to the member during the full period will be used. The final average salary is then multiplied by a factor of 1.75 percent for years of participating service (this formula does not take into account prior service, for calculation of formula for prior service contact Human Resources).

Terminations

If an employee terminates employment and is vested in KPERS (5 years or more of credited service), they may leave their contributions with KPERS. Contributions will continue to receive interest although interest only comes into play if there is a lump sum payout. The employee may also choose to make application for withdrawal of accumulated contributions after 30 days. Amounts withdrawn may be subject to Federal income taxes mandatory withholding of 20 percent if not rolled over to another qualified plan or to an IRA as well as a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal to be paid when income taxes are done.

If the employee terminates employment and is not vested in KPERS (less than 5 years of credited service), they may choose to make application for withdrawal of accumulated contributions (see above). If the contributions are not withdrawn, their KPERS membership will be protected for 5 years and interest will continue to be credited. If the employee does not return to covered employment and they do not withdraw their contributions, their contributions will revert to the employer's reserve at the end of the 5-year protection of membership and no further interest will be credited. An employee may receive the reverted contributions by completing a special affidavit.

Annual Statements

Each year KPERS provides members with an annual statement of their account. This statement will advise the member of their contributions on deposit, interest credited if applicable, an estimate of their retirement benefits at various ages (if employee is vested), insurance coverage, and their named beneficiary. Annual statements are distributed by KPERS to the member's agency.

Contact

Benefits Office at 913-588-5087
KPERS 888-275-5737.

Last modified: Sep 16, 2014
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