Pension costs for the largest of Wichita’s two funds have been rising rapidly.
The City of Wichita has two major pension funds, one for police and fire employees, and another for “regular” employees. These are defined benefit pensions, meaning that retirees are guaranteed a specific dollar benefit based on items like length of service and salary. While employees contribute part of their salary to the funds, it is up to the city to make contributions in sufficient amount to ensure that promised benefits can be paid.
These costs have been rising even though the city has not increased promised benefits to retirees.
There are two charts for each fund. One shows employer contributions and covered employee payroll in dollars, using two different scales. Then, a chart shows the contributions as a percent of covered employee payroll.
The employees’ fund is larger than the police and fire fund, with covered payrolls of $71 million and $65 million respectively.