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What is PERAChoice? 

Some employers offer new employees the choice between the PERA Defined Benefit (DB) Plan and the PERA Defined Contribution (DC) Plan. This option is called PERAChoice.

The following employees are eligible for PERAChoice:

  • State of Colorado employees hired on or after January 1, 2006
  • Certain community college employees hired on or after January 1, 2008
  • Local Government Division members hired on or after January 1, 2019
  • State-classified college or university employees hired on or after January 1, 2019
  • District Attorneys, Deputy District Attorneys, or Assistant District Attorneys

If PERA has not received contributions on the employee’s behalf from any PERA employer in the previous 12 months, and the employee is not a PERA retiree, then he/she is eligible to participate in PERAChoice.

If PERA has received contributions on the employee’s behalf from another PERA employer in the previous 12 months, the employee must return to the plan in which they previously participated. 

Which is better, the PERA DB Plan or PERA DC Plan? 

Which plan is a better fit for you is a personal choice, and depends on your retirement goals and preferences. We encourage you to explore the various resources on this website, such as our New to PERA section, webinars, and Video Library to learn more about how PERA works. The PERAChoice booklet also includes helpful information about the differences between the two plans.

I received a letter in the mail that says I can change plans. What does that mean? 

As a PERAChoice member, you have the option to make a one-time change to your plan selection after choosing either the PERA Defined Benefit (DB) Plan or PERA Defined Contribution (DC) Plan. You can make this change only after you’ve been a PERA member for a year and before you reach six years of membership.

To change plans, complete the PERAChoice Years 2-5 Change/Transfer form . The form will need to be notarized and returned to PERA for processing. Once we receive your completed form, we’ll reach out with more information and answer any questions you may have.


How does the employer determine a new employee’s previous PERA status? 

The employer can verify whether the new employee is eligible for PERAChoice by using the "SSN Verification Tool" in PERA’s Secure Transmission And Reporting System (STARS). If you do not have access to the "SSN Verification Tool," please contact your Employer Representative. 

How does the employer submit contributions for these employees? 

All salary reported to PERA for employees, regardless of whether they participate in the PERA DB or DC Plan, should be reported on your contribution reports as DB salary. 

How does the employer report new hires to PERA? 

All new employees hired on or after January 1, 2019, should be reported to PERA within 30 days of the date of hire using the new member enrollment file in STARS.  

The employer will receive immediate notification of a successful transfer and copies of the files are retained on STARS for the employer to retrieve at any time. 

What does the employer need to do if a new employee is eligible for PERAChoice? 
  • Provide the employee with the PERAChoice brochure and encourage them to thoroughly review the different Plan provisions. Copies can be ordered by calling PERA’s Customer Service Center at 800-759-7372.  
  • Inform the new employee that he/she has 60 days from the date of hire to submit a PERAChoice Election and Release Form to the employer. If a choice isn’t actively made within 60 days, the new employee will be automatically enrolled in the PERA DB Plan.