Judges Benefits Members hired July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2014
Throughout your career, you contribute part of your salary to the Retirement System. Your employer also contributes. KPERS then invests these funds and, when you retire, pays you a guaranteed monthly benefit for the rest of your life. Kansas law requires that all eligible employees must be members.
Your Online KPERS Account
Track your membership and plan details by logging in to your KPERS account. Inside your account you can:
- See your contributions and interest
- Check your service credit and final average salary
- Download your annual statements
- View your beneficiaries
- Use the customized benefit calculator
You became “vested,” when you were elected or appointed. This means you are guaranteed a retirement benefit.
If you have participated in more than one Retirement System group, you may be able to combine years of service towards vesting.
If you leave employment before retiring you can withdraw your contributions.
As a Judges member you contribute 6% of your gross wages. Kansas law does not allow you to borrow from your contributions.
If you became a member:
- Before July 1, 1993, your contributions earn 7.75% interest.
- On or after July 1, 1993, your contributions earn 4% interest.
Interest is credited annually on June 30, based on the balance in your account on December 31 of the year before.
How Benefits Are Funded
Your contributions are just one part of the funding that pays for your retirement benefit. After about 3 years, most retirees begin receiving more in total benefits than they paid in contributions (if no lump-sum option). Where does the rest come from? Employer contributions and KPERS investment returns.
Full Retirement Benefits
|85 points||1 Year of Service||10 Years of Service|
|All judges must retire at the end of the term in which they reach age 75.|
Reduced Retirement Benefits
Benefits are Calculated Using a Formula
Judges Benefit Formula:
Final average salary x statutory multiplier x years of service = annual benefit at normal retirement age
Example: $85,000 x 3.5%* x 20 = $59,500 annual benefit
Calculate your retirement estimate:
Judges Online Benefit Calculator (must enter your data)
Judges Personalized Benefit Calculator (inside your member account, data pre-populated for you)
Final Average Salary
Your final average salary is an average of any three of your last ten years of service as a judge. You can see your current FAS by reviewing you MAS or logging on to your Account Access. For full details of this calculation see the Membership Guide.
If Your Membership Date is Before July 1, 1987:
A statutory multiplier of 5% is used for up to ten years of service. Additional service over ten years is calculated at 3.5%.
If Your Membership Date is on or After July 1, 1987:
A statutory multiplier of 3.5% is used for calculating your retirement benefit.
Benefit Payment Options
As a retiree, you will receive a monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. In addition, we have retirement payment options that add financial flexibility and allow you to provide for loved ones after your death.
Maximum Monthly Benefit Options
This option is the maximum monthly benefit you can receive. There is no continued monthly benefit after your death.
You can provide a continuing monthly benefit for someone after your death. Survivor benefits are equal to 50%, 75% or 100% of your benefit and are paid for the rest of your survivor's life. To provide this continuing benefit, your monthly benefit is reduced. Your benefit decreases as your joint annuitant's benefit increases.
If you die within a guaranteed period of time from retirement, your beneficiary will receive the same monthly benefit for the rest of that guaranteed period. Your monthly payments are reduced based on whether you chose the five-, ten-, or 15-year life-certain option. You can change beneficiaries at any time.
Partial Lump-Sum Option
You can take part of your retirement benefit in an up-front lump sum at retirement. This lump sum is then combined with one of the other retirement options to provide reduced, regular monthly payments for the rest of your life. You can choose a PLSO amount of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% or 50% of the actuarial present value of your benefit. A PLSO payment is taxable income unless directly rolled over into an eligible retirement account.
As an active Judges member, you have basic life insurance and disability benefits at no cost to you. You can also purchase optional life insurance.
Basic Life Insurance
You have basic group life insurance equal to 150% of your annual salary. The cost of this benefit is paid by your employer. You can name different beneficiaries for your life insurance and retirement benefits. See Naming Your Beneficiary for details. Life insurance ends when you leave employment. However, you can continue coverage on your own.
Optional Group Life Insurance (OGLI)
Optional group life insurance is coverage beyond your basic life insurance. You pay the cost of this coverage through payroll deduction. Many employers offer optional group life insurance, including the State of Kansas. Check with your employer.
Coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $400,000 in $5,000 increments. New employees are eligible for $250,000 of guaranteed coverage (without proof of good health) within 31 days of their hire date. You must provide proof of good health for amounts over $250,000.
Guaranteed Coverage (No Health Questions):
|Guaranteed Coverage Max||$250,000||$25,000||$20,000|
|Annual open enrollment||up to $50,000 increase||up to $25,000||$10,000 for $1/mo or $20,000 for $2/mo|
|New hire||up to $250,000||up to $25,000||$10,000 for $1/mo or $20,000 for $2/mo|
|*Family status change||up to $50,000 increase||up to $25,000||$10,000 or $20,000|
*Within 31 days of marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or employment status change (member or spouse).
Anytime Coverage (Some Health Questions):
|Choice of $5,000 increments||$5,000 min
|only available w/new hire, open enrollment or family status change|
Other Optional Insurance Details
- You can start or increase coverage any time with proof of good health.
- With the "Accelerated Death Benefit," if you are diagnosed as terminally ill with 24 months or less to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving the insurance amount.
Basic and Optional Group Life Insurance Brochure (PDF, 348KB)
Optional Group Life Insurance Enrollment Form (PDF, 571KB)
If You Leave Employment
Life insurance ends when you leave employment. However, you can continue your coverage on your own.
If you become disabled, but are not yet eligible to retire, you may qualify for a disability benefit based on your annual salary. You must be totally and permanently disabled as certified by the Kansas Supreme Court. You will continue receiving service credit and basic life insurance coverage for approved disability periods. You can also continue any optional insurance coverage.
Disability benefits are calculated using the following formula:
Final average salary x 3.5% x years of service = annual disability benefit
Example: $85,000 x 3.5% x 20 = $59,500 annual benefit
The minimum benefit is 50% of your final average salary and the maximum is 70%.
Eligibility & Age Limits
If you are on disability, the Kansas Supreme Court may require examinations by a court-appointed physician at any time. Disability benefits will stop if you are no longer permanently disabled.
At age 65, disability benefits end and you must apply for retirement benefits. Your retirement benefit will be calculated with the additional service credit you received while on disability. If you have been disabled and off the payroll for more than five years, your final average salary will be recalculated to determine your retirement benefits. This will help your salary better reflect increases in the cost of living since you have been off the payroll.
To apply for disability benefits, an application must be filed with the Clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court. Contact your designated agent for details.
If you die before retirement, the Retirement System also returns your contributions and interest. In certain situations, your spouse may be able to choose a monthly benefit instead of receiving your contributions. Please see Surviving Spouse Benefit Option for details.
Accelerated Death Benefit
If you are diagnosed as terminally ill with 24 months or less to live, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% of your life insurance instead of your beneficiary receiving a death benefit.
Naming a Beneficiary
Active members can name separate beneficiaries for:
1. KPERS retirement benefits (return of contributions and interest, or surviving spouse benefit).
2. Group life insurance benefits (basic and optional).
You can add or change beneficiaries at any time by completing a Designation of Beneficiary form (K-7/99).
For full details on beneficiaries see Naming a Beneficiary.
You need to claim your KPERS contributions on your Kansas income Tax Return. This applies to all active members of all Retirement System plans. Read more tax information.
You may be able to increase your benefit and possibly retire earlier by purchasing service credit. The types of service credit you can purchase depends on the Retirement System. See the Service Purchase page or check your membership guide for full details.
Don't wait. Service Purchase costs are based on salary and age. Now is probably the most inexpensive time for you to buy.