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Retiree FAQs

When will I receive my benefit payment? 

PERA benefits are paid at the end of the month for that month. Depending on your election, your benefit payments will either be mailed or deposited into your bank or credit union account on the last workday of each month. For example, your September 2021 benefit will be paid on September 30, 2021.

Is my PERA benefit taxable? 

Yes, your PERA benefit is subject to federal and state income tax. The taxable amount of your benefit will depend on the tax-paid and the tax-deferred balances in your member contribution account at retirement. If you have tax-paid money, based upon your age (and the age of your cobeneficiary, if applicable), part of your PERA benefit will not be taxable at the federal level for a specified number of months. Depending on your age, a portion of your benefit may not be taxable by the state of Colorado. Please review the Taxes on PERA Benefits booklet for more details.

Does PERA withhold state taxes for any state other than Colorado? 

No, PERA is only able to withhold taxes for Colorado. If you become a resident of a state other than Colorado, you need to update your tax withholding, as PERA does not automatically stop tax withholding for the state of Colorado based on an address change.

May I change my option and cobeneficiary choices? 

Under the PERA benefit structure, you may change your benefit option or cobeneficiary up to 60 days after the date your first benefit payment is issued. After 60 days have passed, you may not change your option or cobeneficiary, except in certain situations involving marriage, civil union, divorce, or death.  

Under the DPS benefit structure, you may change your option or cobeneficiary before your first benefit payment is issued. After your first benefit payment is issued, you may not change your option or cobeneficiary, except in certain situations involving divorce.  

Under both benefit structures there may be additional options. Please review the Changing Your Cobeneficiary or Benefit Option booklet to learn more. 

Changing Your Cobeneficiary or Benefit Option booklet
Will I receive annual increases to my PERA benefit? 

The annual increase (AI) is paid in July of each year and may change with the Automatic Adjustment Provision (AAP). Eligibility for the AI and the amount depends on a variety of factors. Please see the Annual Increases for Benefit Recipients fact sheet.

Annual Increases fact sheet

 

How are PERA benefits coordinated with Social Security benefits? 

Your PERA benefit is not affected by Social Security. However, your Social Security benefit may be reduced if you are receiving a PERA benefit. Contact Social Security for specific information about a reduction to your Social Security benefit by calling 1-800-772-1213 or visiting their website at www.ssa.gov. You may also review the PERA and Social Security fact sheet.  

PERA and Social Security fact sheet
Can I work after retirement and what do I need to know if I decide to do that? 

Yes, if you work for a private company or work for a public employer not affiliated with PERA, you can work without limitations.  

If you return to work for a PERA employer, there are specific rules about returning to work during the month of your retirement or as an independent contractor, and there are limits to the amount you can work in a calendar year.

When you return to work for a PERA employer, in most cases, your employer will be responsible for paying employer contributions on your salary, and you will be required to pay a working retiree contribution. 

Learn more about the limits and additional rules with working after retirement here.

What happens to my PERA life insurance after retirement? 

If you have PERA life insurance, it will continue when you retire unless you cancel it in writing. As a retiree, your monthly premium will increase to $10.28 per unit of coverage and will be paid by a deduction from your monthly benefit.  

Does PERA offer health insurance? 

Yes, PERA offers health care, dental, and vision insurance under the PERACare Health Benefits Program to retirees, other benefit recipients, and their eligible dependents. You may enroll at retirement or during the annual open enrollment period. In addition, you may become eligible to enroll, change plans, or add dependents based on certain life events. Visit the Health Benefits (PERACare) page for more information.  

Will I be eligible for Medicare as a PERA retiree? 

Yes, you will be eligible for Medicare when you turn age 65. Medicare is the federal health insurance program for everyone age 65 and older. Please see Social Security’s Medicare booklet (#05-10043) for information about enrolling in Medicare.  

Everyone qualifies for Medicare Part B and pays a premium for Part B. Most PERA retirees also qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, but if you do not, you do not have to purchase it if you are enrolled in one of PERACare’s Medicare plans.  

PERA offers PERACare and Medicare meetings, please see the Webinars webpage for more information.

What happens to my PERAPlus 401(k) and/or PERAPlus 457 plan after I retire? 

When you retire, you may leave your PERAPlus 401(k) and/or 457 Plan account(s) at PERA and continue to make transfers between investment funds, roll money into the PERAPlus 401(k) Plan, or request a loan or distribution. Even if you did not contribute to the PERAPlus 401(k) Plan prior to retirement, you may still roll money into the Plan after retirement.  

If you have a PERAPlus 401(k) account and work for a PERA employer after retirement, you can continue to make contributions from your salary earned. If you have a PERAPlus 457 account and work for a PERA employer that participates in the PERAPlus 457 Plan, you can continue to make contributions from your salary earned. 

How long can I leave my PERAPlus 401(k) and/or PERAPlus 457 plan with PERA after I retire? 

You will be required to begin distributions from these Plans upon reaching the appropriate Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age set for you by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can find more information about this requirement at www.irs.gov

What happens if my cobeneficiary dies before I do? 

In most cases, the amount you receive will increase to your Option 1 amount in the PERA benefit structure or Option A amount in the DPS benefit structure (no other person or estate will receive a monthly benefit after your death).

Does my cobeneficiary continue to get an annual increase or access to PERACare after my death? 

Yes, in addition, your PERACare subsidy transfers to your cobeneficiary as well.

What happens to my account if I select an Option 1 benefit under the PERA benefit structure and die shortly after retirement? 

The balance of your account will be matched 100% and sent as a one-time, lump-sum payment to your named beneficiary(s).

What happens to my account if I select an Option A benefit under the DPS benefit structure and die shortly after retirement? 

The balance of your account will be sent as a one-time, lump-sum payment to your named beneficiary(s).