PERA continues to be one of Colorado’s best investments pumping more than $6 billion into Colorado’s economy.

A new report shows the economic impact of retirement distributions made by PERA to retirees living in Colorado topped $6 billion in 2016 and sustained 32,800 Colorado jobs. The study, conducted by Pacey Economics in Boulder, shows that the $3.83 billion paid in PERA distributions to more than 98,000 Colorado residents has a dramatic benefit to local economies in every corner of the state, from Metro Denver to the Southwest Mountains to the Eastern Plains.

PERA distributions “provide reliable, predictable income allowing for an ‘automatic stabilizing effect’ on state, regional and local economies, especially in economic downturns,” according to the report. Evidence of the importance of this economic
impact is especially felt in rural Colorado, where PERA retirement distributions amount to 14.8 and 13.7 percent of area payroll in the Pueblo-Southern Mountain and San Louis Valley regions, respectively.

The report notes that PERA provides a significant return on investment, turning employer contributions of $1.32 billion into more than $4.1 billion in retirement payments in 2016. The research shows that PERA distributions also generate $271 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.

“Stable retirement income for those who spent careers teaching our children, keeping our roads safe, maintaining our wilderness areas, and helping to build strong communities means that they can continue to shop, dine, and play in their local communities,” said PERA Executive Director Gregory W. Smith. “Even when PERA members retire, they continue to have a positive economic impact across Colorado,” Smith concluded.