Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

2018 Board Election Underway

Board study

Ballots for the 2018 PERA Board of Trustees election were mailed earlier this month. Not every seat on the Board is open every year, so members of the Judicial and Denver Public Schools (DPS) divisions will not receive ballots, and because neither of the retiree seats is open this year, ballots will not be mailed to retirees.

Additional candidate information is available online:

State Division Candidates

School Division Candidates

Local Government Division Candidates

All voting (mail, internet, phone) concludes at midnight on May 31, 2018. Results will be announced on June 22.

The Board of Trustees is a group of 16 professionals who are responsible for overseeing PERA’s investment program and the administration of PERA’s benefits. (However, the Colorado General Assembly, with the approval of the Governor, has responsibility for changing PERA benefits or contributions.) All Trustees serve as fiduciaries and as such must act in the best interest of all members and retirees.

State law describes the responsibilities of the Board and the process for Trustees to be selected.

Twelve Trustees are elected by PERA members and retirees, three Trustees are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate, and the State Treasurer serves as an ex officio Trustee. The Board of Trustees meets at least five times per year and is responsible for adopting the rules and policies for the administration of PERA. Elected Board members serve without pay, but are reimbursed for necessary expenses.

For more information on the role of the Trustees, see this PERA on the Issues post.


  1. Mike Harris says:

    Let’s pray to God that the new board will not be out to cut the throats of retirees again like SB 1, 7 yrs ago and SB 200 this year!!! There sure are a lot of money coming out of employees pockets where is it all going somebody doesn’t seem to be fiscally responsible

  2. Sally says:

    The board of trustees should be nonpartisan but I realize with this selection process it won’t be. This was Greg Smiths main concern before his passing.

  3. Charles Lienert says:

    Fire all of them and get proper professionals on the Board. By proper professionals, I am talking about people like Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett.

  4. Thomas E Moore says:

    I would like to know if the $225 Million direct distribution by the state an actual increase or has the state made direct distributions in the past?

  5. Christopher Richards says:

    From a retiree perspective… Far as I’m concerned, the PERA board has done nothing but cave to the demands of self-serving republican legislators who for the last 40 years have worked to destroy one of the nations best public employee retirement plans. You’ve sold us out time and again over the last 20 years. I had, and still have, a CONTRACT for a 3% annual COLA. The latest breach of my contract with PERA and with the state of Colorado absolutely reeks of special interests.

    I say get rid of ALL incumbent board members and start with a clean slate of those who might actually support, protect and fight for the interests of PERA retirees!

    • Gregory Robison says:

      Yes, I agree. Our trust has been broken and our funds have been robbed!! Enough is enough.
      Soon there will be fewer new teachers and the “system” will FAIL. Congratulations legislatures and board members.

  6. Barb says:

    I’m out of town at a wedding & did not receive a ballot before I left & will return too late to vote. I’m disappointied in the proccess as likely many are similarly effected.
    I chose the teaching profession not only because of my love of children & skill at making learning meaningful but because retirement benefits were good st the time some 40 years ago. I could have made many other choices and investments had I known the State was going to renege on its promise. Teachers expected good retirement would compensate for low salaries. Does anyone get it?

  7. Christopher says:

    Salaries of the PERA Board? Are board positions PERA employees and subject to the same cuts?

    Why does Judicial get a sweetheart deal, are they not among the highest paid and therefore the least needing of all PERA employees? Yet they get even MORE in retirement, plus, they get to double dip… it’s disgraceful.

    Why do State Police ALSO get a sweetheart deal? Several other state jobs are significantly more dangerous, yet they do not receive this special treatment, nor should they… so why the police? Are the troopers somehow more deserving or better than other state employees? No axe to grind with cops, I married one, have several friends who are officers/troopers/deputies… but wrong is wrong.

    These perks are no more than self-serving class distinctions and should have been eliminated decades ago. They remain because the Republican legislators dangle the carrot of “If you vote/push for/use your influence etc to cut the benefits of the other retirees we’ll by-and-large leave you out of it. If you buck our desires we’ll throw you in with the rest of them.”

  8. Christopher says:

    I also did not receive a ballot. Have they been “misplaced” in cases of persons who have been openly critical of the PERA Board, and of the Republican legislators who have actively and openly been trying to destroy one of the best public retirement plans in the US

    • Colorado PERA says:


      If you are retired, you were not mailed a ballot because there is not an open retiree trustee seat this year. The next scheduled election in which retirees will be sent ballots will be in 2019 or 2021 – depending from which division they retired.

  9. Colorado PERA says:

    Dear Barb,

    If you are retired, you were not mailed a ballot because there is not an open retiree trustee seat this year. The next scheduled election in which retirees will be sent ballots will be in 2019 or 2021 – depending from which division they retired.

  10. Colorado PERA says:


    Trustees elected to the PERA Board by the membership are PERA members and retirees and serve on the Board without pay. PERA staff are PERA members and will be participating in the changes in SB 200 if signed by the Governor.

    Judges are in a separate division trust and their salaries are set in state law and do not vary so that’s why they will have a three-year HAS if SB 200 is enacted. Their employers also contribute more.

    State Troopers contribute more than do other State Division members and these contributions offset the costs of allowing an earlier retirement.

  11. Creede McQueen says:

    I have lost my ballot. Can a new one be sent or can I vote online?

    • Colorado PERA says:

      Dear Mr. McQueen,

      To be issued a replacement ballot, please call the election vendor toll-free at 1-866-909-3549, Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (Mountain time) or email Replacement ballots will not be issued after May 23, 2018. You will need to receive a replacement ballot to vote online.

  12. Tracy says:

    Can’t come fast enough after SB18-200. And good riddance to Hickenlooper in November if he signs it.

  13. Gregory Robison says:

    I would love to vote. Neither myself or my wife received a ballot…what’s up???

    • Colorado PERA says:

      Dear Mr. Robison,

      Retirees were not mailed ballots because there is not an open retiree trustee seat this year. The next scheduled election in which retirees will be sent ballots will be in 2019 or 2021 – depending from which division they retired.

  14. Karen Gavin says:

    PERA is indeed underfunded at this time but I don’t believe it was ever intended to be fully (100%) funded. All employees who work under the PERA retirement system aren’t going to retire in the same year, so fully funding the system isn’t necessary. I don’t believe most public retirement plans are fully funded. Why not fund the plan to the 72% or whatever was agreed upon years ago. Allow the additional funds to be kept by the companies and retirees, and rolled back into the Colorado economy. If the system becomes 100% funded in the future, the legislature is likely to vote for another rebate and the PERA members will find themselves back in the same situation again.

  15. Margaret says:

    Fire all the people who are investing for PERA get a 60/40 ETF with Schwab, Fidelity, or Vanguard and save the millions those NON FINANCIAL EXPERTS are costing us. There would be enough money, I bet, for the COLAs if those people were fired.M

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