You’re Invited to PERAtour, Round 2

October 16, 2017

Learn more about the PERA Board’s legislative proposal by attending an upcoming PERAtour meeting

By now, many of you have probably heard about the PERA Board’s recommendation to lower the funding risk of the system. I know that you have questions and concerns and that’s why the PERA staff, Trustees, and I have scheduled 11 meetings around Colorado during October and November. For those of you unable to attend a meeting, we will also hold a webcast and will be updating our dedicated website www.peratour.org. (Details may be found in this newsletter.)

These PERAtour outreach events are designed to give you background on why the Board developed a legislative proposal and what the changes will mean to the PERA membership if enacted by the Legislature and Governor. 

The Board’s recommended package is not final and requires the General Assembly to pass legislation to make lasting and positive changes to PERA. The Board’s proposal spreads the burden of achieving full funding within 30 years over current members, retirees, public employers, and public employees yet to be hired by a PERA employer. The changes are significant and will require sacrifice from all stakeholders—but the cost to each party is equitable. No single party is bearing a majority of the cost at the expense of others. 

Your participation in the PERAtour continues to be vitally important. We believe that, given PERA’s funded status, we must make changes now. If we do not take action, it is highly likely that action will be imposed upon PERA by others. The package recommended by the PERA Board resulted from a deliberate and inclusive process in which much of the PERA membership was involved. This was not the case in states such as Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Michigan where legislation that will ultimately eliminate defined benefit plans—much to the consternation of the public workforce—has been enacted. These same forces are working toward achieving similar goals here in Colorado. Despite these challenges, we must face them together and preserve PERA for all our current and future members.

I invite you to visit www.peratour.org to stay up to date and share your thoughts with me at GregSmithMail@copera.org.