Ditch legislative pay raise but curb pension perk

money-bagA proposal by Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, to more than double the pay of state lawmakers hasn’t gotten far this session – and understandably so. Lawmakers haven’t exactly shown themselves to be deserving of a pay raise. But one part of his proposal does deserve legislative action: ending the sweetheart deal lawmakers get in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. Lawmakers’ pensions are calculated as if they were paid every day of the year, not the typical 90-day session. What’s more, they can include their daily expense allotment in the calculation and any out-of-session expense payments (also pretending that both were paid every day of the year). Thus, even though the real salary of an average state lawmaker is $7,979, the pretend pay for KPERS can be $86,528. And then they complain about KPERS being underfunded.