Senate to work KPERS bill next weekAustin Harris
The Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee will work Senate Bill 138, which exempts KPERS retirees from the working after retirement earnings limit, next week.
The committee heard testimony on the bill Tuesday morning. Proponents, including State Board of Education Chairman Jim Porter and USA|Kansas Executive Director G.A. Buie, said the bill would help Kansas school districts respond to increasingly serious teacher and administrative shortages.
In 2015, the Legislature passed a law that limited the earnings of KPERS retirees who go back to work for another KPERs employer. School leaders have expressed concerns that this change makes it more difficult to hire qualified employees, particularly in rural areas that are experiencing significant shortages. “Sometimes the best person for a classroom is a retired teacher,” Porter said.
Buie noted a “challenging situation” in Kansas, where about 17 percent of public school teachers or administrators are at retirement age or already working after retirement. While Buie has some concerns about the length of separation being discussed by lawmakers, he said his organization could “make it work” if other restrictions were eased to allow districts to more easily hire post-retirement employees to fill critical gaps.