On Friday, February, 10, 2017, the Colorado PERA Board of Trustees voted on four pieces of legislation concerning PERA governance, contributions, data access, and working after retirement restrictions. All proposed legislation is currently pending in the Colorado General Assembly.
The Board voted to oppose House Bill 17-1114 that would grant the state Treasurer greater authority to access PERA data.
The Board voted to oppose Senate Bill 17-113 that would cap employer contribution rates to PERA at current levels.
The Board voted to oppose Senate Bill 17-158 that would change the PERA Board composition.
Timothy M. O’Brien, Board Chairman, stated, “My fellow Trustees undertook a thorough and deliberative process to assess each bill, understanding the impact to PERA’s membership and operations, as well as the plan’s funded status. The Board did not believe that these bills would improve the administration of PERA or benefit the PERA membership in any way.”
The Board also voted to oppose House Bill 17-1176 that would change the provisions related to working after retirement to address employee shortages in rural school districts. The proposed legislation could add approximately $85 million to PERA’s unfunded liability according to actuarial analysis, and no funding of the liability is provided.
“The PERA Board appreciates the legislative intent of assisting rural districts in Colorado in finding qualified teachers and other support staff. However, the Board must act as fiduciaries and oppose the bill due to the increase in unfunded liabilities presented by the legislation,” said O’Brien.
The Board of Trustees acts as fiduciaries to the more than 568,000 members of the retirement system. In that capacity, the Board reviews legislation that impacts the plan and takes a position with the best interest of the membership as the foundation for this careful evaluation. By state law, the asset management and benefit administration of PERA is vested in PERA’s Board of Trustees. The General Assembly has the exclusive authority to adjust benefits and contribution rates.