Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

2022 Proposed Legislation Status

Golden Capitol Dome in Denver, Colorado
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Below you’ll find summaries of proposed legislation affecting Colorado PERA. The status of each bill will be updated regularly.

Last updated: May 11, 2022


HB22-1029

Compensatory Direct Distribution to Public Employees’ Retirement Association

Bill summary: Lawmakers enacted legislation in 2020 to forego the annual $225 million payment to PERA during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the General Assembly cut billions of dollars from the state budget. The state resumed payments in July 2021 but did not make up 2020’s payment. HB22-1029 calls for the state to make a payment of $380 million, which includes the $225 million plus prepayment of future direct distributions to PERA.

Sponsors: Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Shane Sandridge, Sen. Chris Kolker, Sen. Kevin Priola

Bill status: Passed (click here for latest); will head to Gov. Polis for signature.

Position: As fiduciaries, the PERA Board supports restoring the missed direct distribution.


HB22-1057

Public Employees’ Retirement Association Employment After Teacher Retirement

Bill summary: Under current law, PERA retirees are limited in how many days they can work after retirement without reducing their benefit. This bill would temporarily waive those limits for qualified service retirees working as substitute teachers in any school district while there are critical substitute teacher shortages.

Sponsors: Rep. Mary Bradfield, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, Sen. Rob Woodward

Bill status: Signed into law.

Position: Expanding working after retirement provisions to allow retirees to work without a reduction will increase PERA’s liabilities. As fiduciaries, pursuant to its funding policy, the PERA Board opposes legislation that increases liabilities or reduces contributions until PERA is fully funded.


HB22-1087

Special District Director Retirement Benefits

Bill summary: Special district board members are considered employees of the special district, and under current law their compensation is subject to PERA contributions as PERA members (if the special district is an employer affiliated with PERA). This bill would exclude special district board members who begin their service on or after July 1, 2022 from being eligible for membership in PERA for the service as directors.

Sponsor: Rep. Edie Hooton, Rep. Andres Pico

Bill status: Signed into law.

Position: The PERA Board does not have a position on this bill as it has no actuarial impact on the fund.


HB22-1101

Public Employees’ Retirement Association Service Retiree Employment in Rural Schools

Bill summary: This bill would expand provisions, currently scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2023, that allow PERA service retirees to work full-time as a teacher, school bus driver, or school food services cook, without a reduction in benefits, for a rural school district that has determined there is a critical shortage of qualified individuals for these positions. The bill eliminates the scheduled repeal date and adds school nurses and paraprofessionals to the list of eligible employees.

Sponsors: Rep. Barbara MacLachlan, Rep. Marc Catlin, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Sen. Rachel Zenzinger

Bill status: Signed into law.

Position: Expanding working after retirement provisions to allow retirees to work without a reduction will increase PERA’s liabilities. As fiduciaries, pursuant to its funding policy, the PERA Board opposes legislation that increases liabilities or reduces contributions until PERA is fully funded.

Comments

  1. Jan Baulsir says:

    It’s so important to pass this legislation and keep PERA working for those in the public sector. Strong public education cannot survive cuts to their retirement plan. Thank you.

    • Mr. John Edward Hawk says:

      I agree. In 1999 PERA was funded to 110 %, which means it was rock solid. It was Republican Governor Owens and legislature that forced PERA to spend down its funding in the pension plan by dropping the retirement age, matching contributions, etc. that led to its drop in its funding. I warned PERA not to agree to this and foresaw the stock market drops, that dropped its assets even further. Now the legislature must do the right thing and pay into the fund the missed payment and lost gains on those funds for 2020. Without the 2020 fund payment PERA risk being seriously weaker financially. This will hurt almost 500,000 retired recipients including myself.
      I am a retired teacher of Economics, Government, etc and I watch the fiscal condition of PERA and I am VERY concerned.

      • Steven Luiting says:

        Thanks for the background on this. I was afraid the state would do this years ago. My wife is on Pera and I am about to go on SSI. I won’t even go into SSI and what they are doing to that. I pray that at least the state keeps Pera going in case SSI goes down.

      • Glenn Yoder says:

        Has everyone noticed that they passed the PERA Bills except the one that helps make PERA strong, the one that puts money in the state owes. If they do the right thing and put in the money owed. I bet they wait as long as possible so we have to take a half percent cut in our cost of living raise, where we only get 1 percent this year. Remember when they did not put in the money they told us we were going to have to take a half percent cut in cost of living, even though the stock market did very well that year.

    • Janet Blankenship says:

      WE need that.

    • David S Prok says:

      A one per cent increase, or so, does not help PERA retirees during this Biden inflation! 5 per cent may come close to off-setting increasing taxpayer expenses. In just one year, this elected leadership has turned against citizens…including 401K savings accounts. We all must demand answers now before we lose even more!

      • Glen says:

        Biden has not caused all of this inflation. The inflation came from the supply channel being slow and the willingness of people to pay the higher prices. The war in Ukraine has affected gas prices across the world, along with the big oil companies that set the prices. They continue to enjoy record profits even though they are selling 10% less gas than before the pandemic.

        • CB says:

          If you look at grafts, the gas prices were increasing the moment Biden stepped into office, shut the pipe line down to pander to the environmentalist. The pandemic didn’t help either with shutting everything down. Have you got money in a 401K, IRA, Annuity? I started seeing mine go down drastically since then as well.

    • Nickie meyer-Schreiner says:

      Not only is it imperative that the State catch up on the payments it owes PERA RETIREES so we are fully funded but the longer they drag their feet doing it the less likely they will actually get it done!! We deserve it we earned it we put into it and it is our futures our bows and our fellow employees and future employees futures we as a State and as a Government entity must show our people our state and other States that we are an example of leadership quality exemplary status and a leader in industry standards or when other States look at PERA As a possibility or countries for a beneficial role model for their retirement programs what will they see?? A government that takes and takes from its personnel and doesn’t return it weakens the whole infrastructure and whole state structure weakens the most important thing trust and workforce positivity and the desire to keep working with the government and giving it a positive glowing review as when you have unhappy workforce and employees feeling unappreciated at any level of the workforce level it affects how your government is seen by other people other governments and perspective employees new working relationships with new government contractors foreign policy makers if you have a possibility for movies or even travel interdisciplinary exchange . The thing is that leaders get stuck in whatever it is they see as important in the moment but don’t look at the foreseeable future and how it may have not only a momentary loss for the people that it affects but it has a financial impact for us all !!! Now , tomorrow, and possibly years to come! Because you never know who is watching is taking it in and making it into a possibility of negativity or positivity.
      So I ask you, PLEASE PLEASE for all of us , in every way you can or cannot conceive this as being an important part of returning the funds it really really is imperative on more levels than we all understand it’s the ripple in the pond effect it can be small no significance or it can create a sunami! Please return our funds the longer you hold of the bigger the ripple and the worse the ripple makes it for us all!

    • Helen Osmon says:

      agree

    • Denise says:

      Why work for PERA after you retire they still take out money forPERA as a “contribution”but the worker does not see that money aka”contribution” ever!!!I quit subbing because of this..

      • S SHIPLEY says:

        But working a “regular” job isn’t any better after retirement because you pay into Social Security and YOU DON’T GET ANY SOCIAL SECURITY if you receive funds through PERA!! I have to chosen to sub.

      • Barry Thorpe says:

        Also, pera stated they were not in favor of it because it increases their liability !? They still take money out of the sub pay and it doesn’t go onto the sub’s pera account, so it does not affect PERA liability, in increases PERAs revenue.

  2. Star Rader says:

    Agreed!

  3. Dayle Redman says:

    Thank you to the sponsors of this Bill. Here’s hoping they can get it passed!

    • Mark says:

      Can someone please explain how this helps the public employee who are being hit by the Windfall Elimination Provision WEP and the Government Pension Offset GPO?

  4. Sandi Cummings says:

    We need this money to be replaced so we can stay on track to be fully funded. Please write the legislators on this committee!

  5. Bruce Humphries says:

    Our living costs keep going up faster than our cost of living increases, can’t take much more

    • Linda Dey says:

      Agreed!!!

    • Dixie lewis says:

      So true. Almost no increase in retirement money from pera as social security increases are regular. Hard to make ends meet. We need regular increases to begin to stay afloat.

    • Thomas R. Williamson says:

      Inflation is the “answer” for PERA. Wages — and therefore contributions — will go up but the benefits will lose significant value over time. And will the legislature support a higher COLA? Probably not. The public hates our pensions since they do not have pensions. But they didn’t sign up to work for the State at a lower salary than a private sector job like we did.

      Something will have to be done if inflation continues at this rate.

    • Richard Mischiara says:

      When are we going to get a cost-of-living increase that is comparable to the current inflation rate. PERA retirees and employees need to come together to elect representatives that look out for our interests

      • PERA On The Issues says:

        Hi Richard, the amount of PERA’s Annual Increase (AI) is set in statute and can adjust up or down based on PERA’s funding progress, along with member and employer contributions. The AI for most eligible benefit recipients, paid out in July of this year, will be 1 percent. We recognize that the changes to the Annual Increase and contribution amounts have been difficult for everyone, but they help ensure current and future retirees can continue to count on PERA to provide a source of income in retirement they can’t outlive. You can learn more about the Annual Increase here: https://www.copera.org/annual-benefit-increases

  6. Paula Acker says:

    It is imperative that the state catch up with their fiduciary responsibilities to support their PERA employees.

    • Jim Ferguson - Retired LE says:

      It’s time for our elected officials, both state and federal, to recognize that PERA isn’t a government source of extra revenue. This is a critical source of income for retired employees. Legislators who view this in any other way are showing extreme disrespect and indifference to those who depend on the revenue generated by this fund.

      • Steve K says:

        Jim, that put it in perspective for me. That is exactly what they did; they used our retirement fund as a funding source in 2020.

  7. Melinda Townsend says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that the employees of this state who continue to support the multi-layered infrastructure of citizen services have earned and deserve the mutual support of our state by making PERA fund whole as the economy has significantly improved. Thank you.

  8. MaryLou Golding says:

    Thank you Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Shane Sandridge, Sen. Chris Kolker, and Sen. Kevin Priola. It is imperative that this bill passes for the sake of everyone’s future. Our children need to be taught about every aspect of living by the expertise of all our teachers. These children are our future. These teachers are the catalyst for that end. We need to keep teachers in the classroom.

  9. Glenda Sadler says:

    It is important to write to thank the sponsors of the bill HB22-1029 and to ask your state representative and state Senator to support and vote for the bill.

    first name.second name.house (or senate)@state.co.us
    For example, chris.kolker.senate@state.co.us

  10. ROBERT COLEMAN says:

    It is imperative that the state be held responsible for current and past contribution promises made to PERA. In this time of hard to find educators it’s important to maintain a reasonable retirement package to attract qualified teachers to public education. School teachers at this point are notoriously under paid. I personally know 3 young teachers that have left the profession because it is impossible for them to survive on current salary schedules.

    • S SHIPLEY says:

      and don’t forget teachers who receive PERA will NOT receive their social security (if they paid in to it) or their spouses SS (if spouse dies). Biggest rip off ever!!! Look into WEP and GPO if you don’t know what I’m referring too. Gee, what a huge incentive to become a teacher!!!!

  11. Steven Luiting says:

    What does this actually mean? I am new to this. It appears that the State pays some of the monies to Pera and they have reneged on their obligation and haven’t yet made up for it? How does this change payout for retirees?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Steven, as part of the PERA reforms lawmakers enacted in 2018, the state is required to make an annual payment of $225 million to PERA every year to help pay down PERA’s unfunded liability. In 2020, lawmakers enacted new legislation to skip that year’s payment due to pandemic-related budget cuts. This new bill aims to make up that missed payment. While the $225 million payment doesn’t directly affect retirees’ monthly benefit payments, every dollar into the PERA fund helps ensure we reach full funding by the goal of 2048 as established in SB18-200.

      • Paul says:

        The PERA Representative’s above response is not false but, with all do respect, it is misleading given Mr. Luiting’s initial question. Notice the use of the words “…doesn’t directly” in the phrase “…doesn’t directly affect retirees’ monthly benefit payments…”
        I argue that withholding the 225M impacts retirees FUTURE monthly benefits because that same Bill (SB 18-200) imposed a formula that DIRECTLY impacts whether, and how much, of an Annual Increase retirees will or won’t receive in future years. By the act of withholding the 225M, the legislature negatively impacted the number that gets plugged into that formula which determines whether retirees receive a full Annual Increase. In my opinion that is a direct, not indirect, impact on future monthly benefits paid to pensioners.
        While we can quibble over whether that is a direct or indirect impact on monthly payments, the reality of the potential for a negative impact on Mr. Luiting’s future monthly benefits should not have been left out.
        PERA has no Cost Of Living Adjustment and the Annual Increase is the only vehicle for providing minimal relief from the increases in the cost of living. The legislature has gutted the Annual Increase through multiple pieces of legislation over the course of the last decade and PERA continues to gloss over that reality when responding to questions like the one Mr. Luiting asked.

    • Deborah ODell says:

      Also, because of the state’s reneging on this committed amount, current PERA retirees are only receiving a * 1% * annual benefit increase in 2022, despite the fact that the rest of the PERA fund performed quite well, and inflation rates are around 5%. So in that sense, this has had a direct effect on payout to retirees.

  12. Joseph Thompson says:

    won’t happen – just another round of political rhetoric trying to make retirees believe they really care about us = Not – new virus = no return of the millions to PERA let alone other $’s for investments lost – just watch and see what happens – PERA leaders have no influence on the outcome – just keep raking in big salaries while we continue to fall further behind to inflation

  13. K. Clegg says:

    It’s my understanding that the Colorado General Fund received $2,233,000,000 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (so far, maybe more to come). It seems that money is intended to replace what has been lost because of this pandemic. So, aren’t the funds therefore available and clearly owed to PERA? It doesn’t seem to me that there is an argument against making this transfer.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      State governments are prohibited from using COVID-19 relief funds for public pensions, so the General Assembly would not be able to use any of that money to make up the $225 million payment to PERA.

      • Pixel Chi says:

        Oh, come on! The legislature can get around this easily if they wanted to. On paper you cut transportation, education and whatever funds to the amount equivalent of $2,233,000,000. Then, you take that money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and backfill the transportation, education and whatever funding and tell the taxpayers you’ve increased funding for all these needs! Voila! you have now freed up $2,233,000,000 of “scrubbed” money for new spending, a portion of which, could be used to correct past piracy performed on PERA funding. Will they help PERA? Nope. But they will use this method of money laundering for new pet social and wasteful green program spending. Watch!

      • Ed Biga says:

        $ is fungible. General funds can be used to honor State’s obligation under the agreement. Why are retirees expected to comply and the state always comes up with an excuse not to honor the agreed payment arrangement. Retirees COLA has gone from 3.5% to 1%, current employees contributions increased and future benefits reduced. Appears elected officials believe that hey are doing us a favor by living up to the agreement.

      • Mark Hardy says:

        PERA, wasn’t it about a year ago that Governor Polis said he supported making up the missed payment? If so, why hasn’t it happened yet?

      • Diana Meyer says:

        Then why, when the Covid cuts were made was Pera cut? Services that could receive the Covid-19 relief should have been the areas cut. I try to be positive and optimistic but it’s becoming more difficult.

    • R. M Schultz says:

      this was my thinking when Federal COVID Relief funds were allotted to the States this pay back into the fund is imperative to keep PERA from those trying to make it insolvent. We fought very hard to get this make up payment into the reform bill after decades of the State refusing to pay their fair share into the account. Then the first time there is a budget crisis PERA funds once again ended up being dropped. Please support the passage of this bill.

  14. Carol A Alderson says:

    Thank you to the sponsors of this bill!

  15. Sandy Schweitzer says:

    Thank you Sponsors: Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Shane Sandridge, Sen. Chris Kolker, Sen. Kevin Priola, for bringing forth this legislation that seeks to hold the state responsible for its fiduciary responsibilities & obligations to its employees, while each PERA member has been & is legislatively mandated (with annual sustainability funding assessments) to uphold their contributions to ensure a sustainable investment plan.

  16. Deborah Sheinman says:

    It is absolutely essential that PERA continues to be funded by the state legislature. Start valuing teacher, state police, and state workers instead of denigrating and demonizing us.

  17. John McGill says:

    The jobs held by state employees are critical to the people of Colorado. It is important to fully fund and support them.

  18. John says:

    The time to hold the state accountable is now.
    If not now, then when?
    The state revenues are booming and inflation is too.
    The last decade has eroded our promised retirement.

    If not now, then when?

  19. Ken says:

    I believe this PERA bill will pass as long as the economy does not crater before it becomes law.
    That said, the economy is headed into a period of high inflation. Current retirees will get one percent annual increases. Is Walmart still hiring greeters? 😐

  20. debra wachsmuth says:

    Teachers have not made the salary other professions have provided their employees. We have not had extra money to invest for our retirements. We rely on PERA for our retirement years. The Cost of Living goes up every year and inflation is hitting us hard. One of the benefits of teaching has been PERA. Changes in PERA distribution for new teachers have made teaching less appealing for the younger teachers and we are losing them to other professions with better wages and benefits. Our education system is going to be in big trouble as Baby Boomers retire and fewer young people are going into teaching. We need to finance PERA to make retirement funds available to them and help keep teachers in the profession.

  21. Terri says:

    This bill is imperative for current retirees and future retirees who need to count on their PERA retirement being there for them in the future. As it is, it doesn’t keep up with the cost of living as almost all yearly increases tend to cover increased insurance costs, or we receive less because of no COL raise and increased insurance costs.
    I hope this legislation passes.

  22. Barry Thorpe says:

    I can’t believe there needs to be a piece if legislation for this!? It should go without saying that the State should pay its bills. Unbelievable that that the legislature can simply defund education on a whim, without cause as they did in 2020. Why is there no law that forbids that kind of capricious act ?
    Colorado needs to amend its Constitution so that it’s obligations are met, period. It’s absurd that a special bill must be passed for education to be funded what is already owed.

  23. Cecil Stushnoff says:

    Thanks to the sponsors of this bill. Keep up the good work and make sure it passes.

  24. Stan Elmquist says:

    It is very encouraging to see there are sponsors ready to keep promises. When it comes to PERA it too often seems that promises are hard for some legislators to comprehend and keep! Renegotiations are often difficult when the economy falters or projections turn out to have been too generous, but it is important for elected officials and PERA members to keep a long-term view–both to the future and to past commitments!

  25. Janet says:

    The state needs to meet its commitments, especially when given the money to do so. We should all look to see who votes against this bill (no matter if it passes or fails) and vote them out of office.

  26. Maddie Heil says:

    In response to HB22-1029, thank you sponsors (Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Shane Sandridge, Sen. Chris Kolker, Sen. Kevin Priola) for remembering PERA’s retirees. All too often law makers find quick fixes for budget deficits without thinking who are being compromised or those who are making the hard sacrifices–much less repayment to those funding sources. Have seen this happen before; we never fully recover what we should have made. At least these sponsors are attempting to make things right.

  27. Don Deane says:

    PERA’s rationale for opposing items #2 & 4 is that liberalizing post-retirement work rules would increase PERA liabilities so worsen its funding status. Please explain how so. For instance, would these workers and their employers not pay PERA contributions? Would their benefits change relative to what they’d get if not working after retirement? PERA’s argument needs much more substantiation to be convincing.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Although PERA does receive working retiree and employer contributions on salary earned while working after retirement, expanding working after retirement provisions to allow retirees to work without a reduction in their benefit would likely encourage a greater number of retirements than expected. That would result in overall shorter periods of accumulating member and employer contributions and longer periods paying out benefits, thus increasing PERA’s costs. A retiree can choose to suspend retirement to return to work without restrictions or a reduction in their benefit. More information here: https://www.copera.org/working-after-retirement

    • Judith Lavezzi says:

      I too cannot make sense of PERA’s opposition to items #2 and #4.
      When I substituted after retirement,I got no benefit from PERA- my contribution was made, but I received no additional adjustment for my contribution. It seems that opposing the extra inflow of PERA contribution is all an upside for the fund. They do not need to reduce income on teachers, and I am supposing that this rule is not made to all PERA groups- just teachers, who are underpaid in Colorado’s disdain for education anyhow. The total of low pay, low respect, and poor working conditions does not make for an attractive lure to new teachers.

  28. Cathy Ivers says:

    I think it is an excellent idea to increase number of days you can work after retirement since there is such a shortage of substitute teachers. I don’t understand the PERA position on this. As a retired teacher who substitute teaches, I’m paying into PERA a portion of my earnings. This does not increase my retirement benefit. And it pays money into PERA. That seems like money that can be used for other retirements.

    • S SHIPLEY says:

      same here… I’m a retired teacher who has been substituting for over 10 years. If I work another job… which I have… I pay into social security which I’LL NEVER SEE… thanks WEP!!! I’d rather pay into PERA as a sub even though my retirement won’t increase. Hmmm, what’s wrong here! I’m also a widow so I do not see a penny of my husband’s SS… thanks GPO!!!

  29. Mark D Friedman says:

    When is the state legislature going to address a COLA limitation on Judges that everyone else has had slapped unfairly on them years ago. It is time for the Judges to be treated the same. Also the archaic set of laws that address reducing the the earned Social Security of benefits for PERA recipients needs to go!!!

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Mark, regarding PERA and Social Security, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO), which can affect your Social Security benefit, are provisions of federal law, not Colorado law. The state legislature does not have the power to change those provisions. We have more information online here: https://www.copera.org/pera-and-social-security

      • Mary Ferbrache says:

        PERA does have the power to get behind HR82, and lobby to get Colorado politicians to cosponsor the legislation, but chooses to do NOTHING!!!

    • D Glasl says:

      Totally agree that those of us who worked extra jobs while teaching and paid into social security are unfairly faced with reduced SS benefits! Especially since PERA took the 3.5% COLA away. Now we are only allowed a bare minimum or zero increase while everything we purchase is skyrocketing in cost. Come on PERA help us out. This is wrong.

      • Michael Derou says:

        I agree completely. It is critical to bring back the 3.5% COLA. Considering the fact that social security COLA is moving ahead by leaps and bounds, we are truly getting the shaft. It is wrong.

  30. Steve K says:

    Think positive, but realistically it has been tried many times in the past and never really gotten close. It is great for them politically but when you calculate the cost (just consider those of us who have been shorted $400 or so every month for years), then you come to realize, probably will not happen this year either.

  31. Andrew Burns says:

    Where does HB22-1029 stand? Is it stuck in committee? Is anyone opposing it? If not, what’s the delay in passing the bill?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Andrew, the bill has been assigned to the House Finance Committee but the committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the bill. Budget talks are ongoing and we expect to see some action on this bill in the coming weeks.

  32. Brian Martens says:

    What is the status of HB 1029.

  33. Alex says:

    How about repealing of the WEP, enough is enough!
    I have worked other jobs for the extra income that we needed to manage our family and paid Social Security on all my paychecks. The WEP provision is based on PERA not contributing to SS and should not have any effect on your other earnings.
    Our congress must be so dysfunctional and unfair if they can’t see and comprehend the effects of this in cheating us out of our social security benefits.

    PERA is already underpaying what we retirees were promised in cost of living raises and inflation!
    I don’t know how PERA retirees that are unable to go back to work can overcome the inflationary pressures in front of us.
    Cheers!

    • Dennis McCloskey says:

      100%. The retirement contract I signed in 2002 is not even close to being fully funded. Also the effects of the WEP sweeping of earned Social Security is illegal, obscene & unethical. Multiple golden parachutes severances, and fully funded military retirement are fully funded per contract. Not so for teachers & many public workers. I guess the answer is best captured by the pandemic spotlight on essential workers. Tiring of yesteryear answer of “Toby be good teacher. Thank you, Massah!” Or Dickens: “Please may I have some more!”

    • Virginia Smith says:

      Please call, email, etc your Representatives to cosponsor HR82. #RepealWEP
      Lauren Boebert has not yet signed to cosponsor……please encourage her. We only need 16 more sponsors to get this to the floor in DC. Rally to Repeal WEP and GPO May 18 2022 Washington DC

  34. Lynn says:

    Any forward movement on receiving PERA and Social Security? PERA should not cancel out what we paid into Social Security.

  35. Patricia Jones says:

    I would like to express a HUGE concern of mine (along with every PERA member!!) re the Annual Increase in July. This so called1.25% is sooo ridiculous that it is mind blowing. It’s not even worth the time nor the paper work to make those changes! We ALL know prices on EVERYTHING has risen to an extreme and exorbitant amount of increases that it blows one’s mind!! I’m going to give you just one example…I happen to like bbq chicken wings. At my grocery store, they have always been 99 cents/lb. For the past years , they have been $4.00 (dollars!)/lb. On just one item, do you even think that a 1.25% increase a year is going to help in any way what so ever?!?! THAT HAS GOT TO CHANGE….and that has to come from PERA!!!! PLEASE, PLEASE have mercy on us!!

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Patricia, the amount of the Annual Increase is set in statute and can adjust up or down based on PERA’s funding progress, along with member and employer contributions. We recognize that the changes to the Annual Increase and contribution amounts have been difficult for everyone, but they help ensure current and future retirees can continue to count on PERA to provide a source of income in retirement they can’t outlive. You can learn more about the Annual Increase here: https://www.copera.org/annual-benefit-increases

      • Fred Boettcher says:

        You can say “changes.” I prefer to say broken promises.

      • Paul says:

        Hiding behind the statute obscures the fact PERA supported every piece of legislation that reduced the Annual Increases to where they are now. PERA chose to support this method to attempt to ensure the long term viability of the Defined Benefit plan at the expense of current retirees. There were other options like leaving the obligation to secure the DB plan with the taxpayers among others.
        PERA makes no attempt to support establishing legislation to create a real COLA.

  36. Charlotte Ramirez says:

    GPO WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION AND WEP LOL. LOL LOL WHERE IS PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN CAMPAIGN PROMISES TO RID OF THEM BOTH, WHAT A JOKE 2O20-2022 AND NOTHING IS DONE , TOO MANY NICE VACATIONS MAYBE LOL GOING ON YACHTS TOO LOL . WAKE UP AMERICA . THEY ARE STEALING WIDOWS AND SURVIVORS SSA HUSBAND EARN INCOME . 🤫🤫🤫😬😬😬🙄🙄🙏✝️🕊

    • Marie Valenzuela says:

      There are currently 3 bills in Congress (2 in the House and 1 in the Senate) that address the WEP/GPO. Our Colorado Democrats in both chambers support the proposed legislation.

  37. JoAnn says:

    I worked two years after retirement for a school district that was classified as a critical shortage district. I had to take a 30% pay cut because the district passed a policy that required me to pay both my PERA and the districts PERA. Better check your school policy before signing on to work after retirement!
    I don’t understand why PERA opposes the work after retirement bills. They still get paid and the retiree DOES NOT benefit in any way as their retirement has already been determined!

  38. JB says:

    Bill HB-1029: introduced in January 2022.
    If you click on the names of our senators and representatives supporting the bill (at the top of this page) it is easy to send them an email message. Do this soon. The bill has been assigned to the House Finance Committee but the committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the bill. Budget talks are ongoing and it is expected to see some action on this bill in the coming weeks.
    I think it would be helpful for several PERA retirees and other interested people who can show up, come together at the State Capitol on the day the bill is scheduled for a hearing to show strong support to pass this bill and our concerns for our future pension funding. Does anyone have experience on how to organize this? There must be some guidelines to follow this.

    Sponsors: Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Shane Sandridge, Sen. Chris Kolker, Sen. Kevin Priola

    Bill status: Introduced Jan. 12.

    Position: As fiduciaries, the PERA Board supports restoring the missed direct distribution.

  39. Richard Mischiara says:

    When is someone going to sponsor a bill that would reinstate retirees annual increase to 3%! Our current increase of pretty much nothing has reduced our retirement check by 30% due to inflation and lack of an appropriate cost of living increase!!!

  40. Floyd Leonard says:

    We really shouldn’t be surprised. The general assembly members are constantly changing, but what never seems to change is the certainty that they will put the hurt on the PERA members. In the 70’s during double digit inflation, it was the 7% solution. In the 2000’s, they told us to sacrifice our promised COLA adjustments to attain full funding. Then they turned their backs and unnecessarily withheld another annual contribution. Annualized inflation is 8.5%, our increase is 1%! The PERA COLA never approaches actual inflation, and funding is falling further and further behind. “Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” is the new age “Don’t let them grow up to be PERA employees”.

    We’ve been reduced to begging for them to keep their promises.

    Is HB22-1029 genuine, or a symbolic gesture to make it appear they care about ever reaching full funding?

    • Tom Gaffey says:

      Excellent insight! Annualized inflation is 8.5%, our increase is 1%! The PERA COLA never approaches actual inflation, and funding is falling further and further behind.

  41. Robert J Miller says:

    Is anyone working to repeal the wep provision

  42. Jill-Ellyn Straus says:

    This is all well & good, but the insurance plan for retirees is abysmal & the PERA board & the legislature should be charged with incompetence. Those of us on a fixed income have a $6k deductible. Medically necessary tests are no longer paid for – the cost does not even go towards a deductible. Due to severe broken osteoporosis & Crohn’s disease I have had to pay for all of these out of pocket. My medications are not covered – even though the Prolia is working & I have 11% bone increase. I’ve tried and failed to respond to numerous less expensive meds – & now am faced with paying for Stelara without insurance assistance. I have had over $120000 dollars of out of pocket medical expenses in 5 years. The PERA board & legislature should be ashamed. Every break is given to teachers – who, as a result of their special consideration, the remainder of state retirees pay the price to cover a group who already has more advantages than any other group of state retirees.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Jill-Ellyn, we’re very sorry your PERACare plan isn’t meeting your needs. We encourage you to explore all your plan options, in PERACare and on the individual marketplace, to find a plan that works the best for you. If you need additional assistance, you can reach us by phone at 1-800-759-7372.

  43. Mike Morris says:

    Kudos to Rep. Shannon Bird for her work as the champion of this bill on behalf of PERA members. Proud that she is my State House Representative. She certainly deserves re-election and I will be helping her on that.

  44. J. Christensen says:

    I have a question about HB22-1101 and HB221057. I am understanding that if a teacher works after retirement for a school district (either the 110 days or the new entire year) that their PERA contributions do not go into their PERA account, but into the general account. If this is correct, why is PERA worried about increasing the liabilities? Wouldn’t this contribution actually help PERA’s liabilities?
    Thank you for helping me understand.

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