Official: Plan raises Kansas’ long-term pension costs $6.5B

Kansas Statehouse (KSN News)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas public pension system’s top administrator says budget-balancing proposals from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback would raise its long-term costs by $6.5 billion.

Executive Director Alan Conroy testified Thursday before the Senate Ways and Means Committee about how Brownback’s proposals would affect the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and efforts to close a long-term funding gap for the system.

Brownback is proposing to freeze the state’s annual contributions to public pensions for three years instead of increasing them as planned. The savings would help the state close projected budget shortfalls totaling $1.1 billion through June 2019.

Conroy said Kansas would take 10 years longer to close its pension funding gap with higher costs in future years.

Brownback said if lawmakers don’t like the pension measures, they should offer budget-balancing alternatives.