Security Officers Retirement/Pension committee hearing

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On Monday, November 17, the Kansas Legislature's Joint Committee on Pensions and Benefits is holding a full day meeting.  One of the items they will be discussing is retirement benefits for KDOC Security Personnel.  
 
There is a proposal to move Security Personnel from the KPERS retirement plan to the Kansas Police and Fire Retirement Plan (KP&F).  The KP&F Plan provides a higher benefit at retirement.  However, to fund that benefit, it requires higher contributions (from both the employees and the employer).  Under KP&F, the employee contribution rate is 7.15% (versus a 6% contribution rate for under KPERS).  Accordingly, if this proposal passes, your mandatory contribution to your retirement plan would go up by 1.15%.  
 
In theory, I support increasing retirement benefits.  In practice, passing this kind of increase without also providing a substantial pay increase would be catastrophic to many employees.  State revenues are down, and this promises to be a challenging budget year.  If financial needs are prioritized, I am guessing most of you would rank a pay raise as more important than enhanced retirement benefits.  
 
The Committee is accepting public comment on this issue.  I will provide testimony on behalf of KOSE as an organization, but I would like to provide the Committee written testimony directly from you, the employees who would be impacted by this change.  It's important the Committee understand the real-world impacts their proposal will have on you.  
 
Written testimony is simple:  write down what you think/feel about this proposal and how it would impact you and your family (in language suitable for a public hearing), put your name on it, and email it to me.  I will format your testimony and make copies for the hearing.  I will submit every opinion provided. Please email me your testimony to rebecca.proctor@koseunion.org
 
I've never heard anyone say they work "for fun."  Most of us work for the pay and benefits…and this proposal will impact both.  Please make your voice heard and provide me with your testimony no later than NOON on Friday, November 14.
 
In Solidarity,
 
Rebecca Proctor

Executive Director, KOSE