PITTSBURG — Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel is hosting a presentation to help inform area teachers, retired teachers and other public about the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS). 

Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel will host a guest speaker,  KPERS Board Member Ernie Claudel during its meeting on Friday. 

According the to the KPERS website, the “Kansas Public Employees Retirement System serves members as a fiduciary, holding assets in trust for them, growing those assets through investments and delivering promised benefits when the time comes,” it reads. “The Kansas Legislature created KPERS in 1962 to secure a financial foundation for those spending their careers in Kansas public service. KPERS provides disability and death benefits to protect employees while they are still working, and guarantees them a lifetime benefit when they retire.” 

Claudel will share what KPERS is doing and what people can do to be informed of statistics and figures, and he will make recommendations on what ways people can be involved. 

“Even people [teachers] who are not retired yet, if they can get off half a day, they need to hear this,”  KARPS Secretary and retired USD 250 Teacher Joella Reid-Skyles said. 

According to Reid-Skyles, public school teachers must contribute to KPERS through their salary. This money is matched by the district and the funds go to KPERS, then the state of Kansas is supposed to put in funds to keep KPERS going. 

“Kansas has not contributed its fair share and at times has taken out of KPERS to balance their budget,” Reid-Skyles said. “Last year there was a little more and this year there was a little more, but Kansas is still behind.” 

Reid-Skyles also said there has been no cost of living increase in nearly 20 years.

“Whatever our monthly allotment is, we have not reached a cost of living increase in nearly 20 years,” she said. 

The meeting and presentation will begin with a social time at 9 a.m. Friday and then the program will begin at approximately 9:15 at the Homer Cole Center.