In May, we launched PERAtour, a statewide conversation to inform our stakeholders about the changing conditions impacting PERA’s funding and discussing the principles and priorities to be considered as we look at the future of PERA. We’ve visited Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley, and Pueblo, and heard from more than 900 members, retirees, and others who have provided valuable input on what’s important to them when looking to PERA’s future. I recognize that we are not able to be in every location in Colorado, so that’s why we created a dedicated website to share information and gather your thoughts. The PERAtour.org website has valuable resources including a narrated version of the meeting presentation, a video of our Denver meeting, and a historical video perspective on how PERA’s funded status has changed over the last 20 years.
I want to underscore that the reason for the PERAtour is to develop an action plan now, and not wait until PERA is in crisis. During our Telephone Town Hall meetings in April, we asked more than 10,000 members and retirees if they believed we should take action now to address PERA’s funded status. More than 80 percent of those on the phone said PERA should be taking action now.
The mandate from our members, retirees, and the PERA Board has been to open a conversation about potential changes to the plan that will result in its long-term success.
Now through August, we will continue to actively engage the PERA membership and others in communities across the state and online. Once we’ve heard your thoughts, concerns, and priorities, we’ll present the findings to the PERA Board in September for their review and deliberation. The Board will consider your ideas as they evaluate different strategies to change the plan design to reduce PERA’s risk profile. Any possible changes will be shared with you again—in meetings and online—in the months following the Board’s September meeting.
The end result of the PERAtour will be the Board’s recommendation of any necessary action to the General Assembly for their consideration in 2018.
Gregory W. Smith
Colorado PERA Executive Director