Your Benefit is Secure.
KPERS is a prefunded system made up of contributions from you, your employer and investment income. You put part of every paycheck into the Retirement System. And your employer contributes, too. Then we invest the money to pay you a monthly benefit when you retire.
More than $1 billion in contributions comes in each year. That's about enough to cover the $1 billion cost of annual benefits. And then there's investment income. Over time, investments have paid for almost half of members' benefits.
When you're ready to retire, your benefit will be here.
How We're Doing
The KPERS Trust Fund is your money. It's not going anywhere except to pay your benefits. It can never be withdrawn for any other purpose.
At about $25 billion, Trust Fund assets have more than doubled in the last two decades. And our 25-year investment return is 8.2%, just above our 7.75% target. Remember, investment returns each year are important. But healthy returns over time are essential for proper funding.
Making Progress for Sound Funding
KPERS is 72.5% funded – up more than 16% since 2012. While we're making progress toward full funding, it's important to remember that 80% and rising is good for pensions like ours, with the goal of 100%. So we're on the right track! But there's no getting around it. We have a long-term funding shortfall and we can't invest our way out.
The difference between our Trust Fund assets and projected future benefits is the unfunded actuarial liability. Currently at $8.5 billion, it's mainly from two recessions and KPERS receiving less than the required employer contributions for more than 25 years.
It will take time and the right amount of employer contributions to improve the System's funded status. As your fiduciary, we're working with employers and State leaders to ensure sound funding for your promised benefits.
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