TALKING POINTS TO KANSAS LEGISLATORS

ISSUE: Three percent across the board increase for KPERS retirees.  Ongoing annual increase at three percent level or tied to Consumer Price Index.

1)   Review the “ Kansas Retired Public Employees Executive Summary”.
This can be found under the “2015 Report” tab on the website.  Also review “Important Facts About KPERS You Should Know”.  There is also additional information regarding our position in the “About Us” section of this website.

2)   Reminder:  You are no longer a retired educator, retired fire fighter, retired judge, retired police officer, etc., you are a Retired Public Employee of Kansas .  The Coalition of Kansas Public Retirees represents 38 organizations which contributed to KPERS.  With unity in numbers, our strength is representing more than 70,000 Kansans.  When visiting a legislator, don’t hesitate to take one or two retired public employees with you.

3)   Myth: Other groups within the coalition have received increased benefits through KPERS.  No individual organization within KPERS has received compounded increases since 1993 and 1998.  In 1993, the increase was the result of a formula change; 1998 was a three percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).  The other obvious argument will be that they cannot afford a COLA at this time.  We would remind you that this argument is used year in and year out by all of the parties involved, Executive and Legislative.  The money for a COLA is not a question of the availability of resources, it is a question of priorities, i.e., do they wish to provide for retired Kansas workers?

4)   Points to remember:  This is not a “want”, this is a “need”.  Many Kansans will live 30 years beyond their retirement date.  Under current benefits and thirty years following retirement, Kansas Public Employees will have lost more than 75 percent of their buying power. This loss will place these employees in a poverty category which, in turn, brings about welfare issues for the state.

  • This is not so much an issue of money, but one of priorities.  Does the state have a desire to fairly provide for the people who taught their children, maintained their roads, and provided for their public safety, etc.?


  • The last across-the-board increase in KPERS benefits was effective July 1, 1998 .  In the 10+ years since, the purchasing power of one dollar has decreased to 30+ percent. In other words, what you could buy for $1 in 1998 will cost in excess of $1.30 today.


  • More than 70,000 people receive KPERS retirement benefits and, of those, two-thirds receive $1000 per month or less.


  • Increased retirement benefits will see these dollars recycled or returned at least seven times.  One in twelve Kansans are Retired Public Employees, (85 TO 90% stay in Kansas ).


  • Retirees contribute to our state in significant ways and volunteer countless hours in their local communities.


5)   Question: Where will we get the new dollars?  Once again we would remind you that this argument is used year in and year out by all of the parties involved, Executive and Legislative.  The money for a COLA is not a question of the availability of resources, it is a question of priorities, i.e., does the legislature and the governor wish to provide for retired Kansas workers?

6)   Closing comment to legislator:
  “May I count on your support and leadership?”

7) 
  Follow-up: 

  • Send thank-you note to legislator.​

      Notify Ernie Claudel results of conversation at:

      (E-mail preferred: eclaudel1@comcast.net / Ph: 913-481-6923)