Seven years after state lawmakers approved sweeping austerity measures to put the state pension fund on a path to financial stability, the retirement system’s funding levels have deteriorated to the point that the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association is headed back to the state Capitol for another round of difficult reforms.
The stakes are significant.
PERA provides and manages retirement benefits to 566,000 current and former public employees — just over one in every 10 Coloradans. If nothing is done, one bad economic event could be enough to plunge the pension system into insolvency — meaning it would eventually run out of money to pay its retirees, who receive pensions in lieu of Social Security.
If the state legislature passes it into law, the reform package approved in September by the pension fund’s governing board would affect virtually everyone in the state. It seeks significant concessions from retirees, employees and taxpayers alike.
PERA officials next week will begin a three-week tour of the state to explain the board’s endorsement and solicit feedback from members and the general public alike. Times, locations and more can be found at peratour.org.
Read the full story at The Denver Post.