WHO SHOULD I TALK TO ABOUT RETIREMENT?
Whether you are just starting to plan for retirement or nearing retirement age, you may be asking: Is my money in the right place? Will I have enough for retirement? Where can I get advice about my Colorado PERA benefits and supplemental retirement investments?
START WITH PERA
If you haven’t already, visit copera.org, click on the “Member login/Registration” button and create a user profile to access your PERA account online. This allows you to monitor your account, see your Highest Average Salary (HAS) table, estimate your future retirement benefit, and review your supplemental plans such as the PERAPlus 401(k) and 457 Plans.
PERA is the best source for information related to your PERA account. Members can visit copera.org, browse the video library, sign up for live webinars or watch webinars on demand anytime. Individuals within a few years of retirement can schedule an appointment with a benefits counselor to discuss their transition to retirement by logging into your secure account or calling Customer Service at 1-800-759-7372. Members may also contact us to get more information on their benefits.
RESEARCH FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS
PERA encourages members to meet with trusted financial planners or advisers who are aware of their unique financial situations and goals. Selecting a financial professional requires research, especially because not all financial professionals are legally obligated to make recommendations that are in your best interest. As you begin evaluating advisers, you might consider asking the following questions:
- What are the adviser’s credentials? Are they considered a fiduciary? Meaning, are they obligated to put their client’s interests above their own?
- How is the adviser or planner compensated—a fee for service or commissions on products they sell?
- Does the adviser or planner offer the services you need?
- How will the adviser or planner communicate with you?
- Will you work directly with a specific adviser or planner from a company or multiple representatives?
- Does the adviser have defined benefit/pension members as clients?
Other than Empower, 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.
PERA often hears that members are contacted by outside vendors wanting to advise them on their retirement accounts. Most of these are legitimate companies selling their financial planning services but, other times, companies falsely represent themselves as Colorado PERA. Here are some facts that might help you determine if something is coming from PERA:
- PERA does not make outbound calls to members unless you have specifically requested a callback or recently initiated a process or change with PERA.
- 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.
- 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.
- PERA will never charge a fee to speak with one of our representatives or to attend a webinar.
If you are unsure whether a communication originated from PERA, contact us! While PERA staff cannot offer personal financial advice, they can provide all the facts and information you need about your PERA