Refund: What You’ll Give Up

November 30, 2016

If you’re planning to take a refund of your Colorado PERA account, consider what you’ll be missing out on:

Membership Rights

Depending on when you began membership, your membership rights, like retirement eligibility dates, may be different than those for new members. If you withdraw your account and later return to PERA-covered employment, you will be subject to the benefits and other provisions in effect at the time you rejoin PERA.

Benefit Rights

You will no longer be eligible for a monthly benefit in the future.

Health Care Access

You will not be able to enroll in subsidized health care available through PERACare.


Unless you are over age 59½, you’ll have to pay an IRS early withdrawal penalty. Additionally, you may have to pay taxes on the tax-deferred portion of your account.


Most PERA members aren’t covered by Social Security. Withdrawing/refunding your account means that you may not have any other source of retirement income for the time you were a PERA member.