PERA often hears that members are contacted by outside vendors wanting to advise them on their retirement accounts. Many of these financial companies provide legitimate advisory services but, other times, companies falsely represent themselves as Colorado PERA or being associated with PERA. Listed below are some facts to help you determine if a solicitation is from PERA.
How To Know It’s PERA
- PERA does not make outbound calls to members unless you specifically requested a callback or recently initiated a process or change (or during Telephone Town Halls).
- PERA will not request confidential or personal information by email. PERA uses a secure messaging system through our website to correspond with you about your account.
- PERA will never charge a fee to speak with one of our representatives or to attend a webinar.
- Emails from PERA will always have “@copera.org” or “@info.copera.org” in the email address.
- PERA materials will have the PERA logo, list our website as www.copera.org, or include our phone number as 1-800-759-7372.
If you’re unsure if an email or other communication is from PERA, please give us a call.
Do Your Research Before Selecting a Financial Adviser
Even though PERA can provide all the facts and information you need to know about your PERA account, PERA staff cannot offer personal financial advice. PERA encourages members to meet with trusted financial advisers who are aware of their unique financial situations and goals. Selecting a financial planner requires research because not all advisers are legally obligated to make recommendations that are in your best interest. Here are some questions you might consider as you evaluate advisers:
- What are the adviser’s credentials? Are they considered a fiduciary?
- How is the adviser compensated?
- Does the adviser offer services that you need?
- How will the adviser communicate with you?
- Will you work directly with a specific adviser or multiple representatives?
- Does the adviser have defined benefit/pension members as clients?
Other than Voya Financial, who provides recordkeeping and advisory services for the PERAPlus 401(k)/457 and PERA DC Plans, PERA does not work with or endorse any external vendors for financial planning services.
Groups That Appear To Work With PERA
PERA works with many stakeholder groups, including CSPERA and Secure PERA, to advocate on behalf of our members and retirees. It is important to note that while these organizations are comprised mostly of PERA members, retirees, and employer associations, they are otherwise not affiliated with PERA and operate independently of PERA.
We encourage our members and retirees to explore all options available when it comes to health, dental, and vision plans including those promoted by these other groups. PERA only administers and is responsible for our PERACare plans.
Official PERA Channels
In an attempt to communicate with our members and retirees where and how they want to receive information from us, we have recently increased our efforts to share information about PERA on our various social media channels. The same precautions should apply and we will never solicit personal information or share member-specific information online. Our current official channels include: