TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Democratic legislator serving on a commission studying Kansas' pension system questioned Wednesday whether Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has been improperly involved in its deliberations just before it recommended starting a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new public employees.

State Rep. Ed Trimmer, of Winfield, raised the issue amid the commission's debate over starting a new 401(k)-style plan, an idea Trimmer opposes and Brownback supports. Trimmer cited a report on The Wichita Eagle's editorial blog, quoting Brownback from an interview with the newspaper's editorial board, saying the commission will recommend such a change.

Later Wednesday, the commission voted 8-5 to recommend to legislators that the state require teachers and government workers hired after June 2013 to join a 401(k)-style retirement plan. Kansas Public Employees Retirement System plans now guarantee benefits up front, based on a worker's salary and years of service, rather than tying benefits to investment earnings, as 401(k) plans do.

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