Kansas public retirees rally for pensions boost

This photo from Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, shows the dome of the Kansas Statehouse, with its statue of a Kansa Indian, standing due north and shooting an arrow at the stars, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Milburn)
This photo from Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, shows the dome of the Kansas Statehouse, with its statue of a Kansa Indian, standing due north and shooting an arrow at the stars, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers in Kansas have joined dozens of retired teachers and government employees in calling for a cost-of-living increase in their pensions.

About 200 retirees rallied Tuesday at the Statehouse. Many wore green stickers bearing the word “COLA,” for cost-of-living adjustment.

Retirees haven’t seen such an increase in 17 years because of long-term funding issues facing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

The projected gap between the pension system’s anticipated revenues and its commitments to retirees is $10.3 billion through 2033. However, the state has enacted changes in recent years that are projected to close the gap.

Speakers at the rally included Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

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