Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

2024 Proposed Legislation Status

The golden dome of the Colorado State Capitol under a partly cloudy sky
Photo credit: Nathan McDaniel – 1297253149 – GettyImages

The 2024 legislative session commenced January 10 and will continue for 120 days.

Below you’ll find summaries of proposed legislation affecting Colorado PERA. The status of each bill will be updated regularly.

Last updated: Feb. 21, 2024


HB24-1044

Additional PERA Service Retirees for Schools

Summary: Under current law, employers in the School and Denver Public Schools (DPS) divisions can designate up to 10 retirees who are permitted to work up to 140 days or 916 hours per calendar year without reductions to their PERA benefits. This bill would allow districts with more than 10,000 students to designate an additional retiree for each thousand students over 10,000.

Sponsors: Rep. Eliza Hamrick, Rep. Rick Taggart, Sen. Chris Hansen

Status: Passed House Finance Committee Feb. 5; referred unamended to Committee of the Whole

SB24-013

District Attorneys’ Salaries

Summary: Would increase the minimum compensation for district attorneys and assistant district attorneys, as well as allow the board(s) of county commissioners of counties that make up a judicial district, in consultation with the district attorney, to make a one-time irrevocable election to require an assistant district attorney to become a member of the PERA Defined Benefit Plan.

Sponsors: Sen. Bob Gardner, Sen. Nick Hinrichsen, Rep. Barbara McLachlan

Status: Passed Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 5; referred unamended to Senate Appropriations Committee

SB24-044

Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retiree Refundable Income Tax Credit

Summary: Would create a temporary tax credit of $700 for qualified PERA retirees in tax years 2024 and 2025. To qualify, a retiree would have to be 65 or older at the end of the tax year during which the credit is claimed, and have annual gross income of no more than $38,000 for single tax filers or $76,000 for joint filers.

Sponsors: Sen. Chris Kolker, Sen. Chris Hansen, Rep. Eliza Hamrick, Rep. Cathy Kipp

Status: Passed Senate Finance Committee Feb. 6; referred with amendments to Senate Appropriations Committee

SB24-099

Public Employees’ Retirement Association Employment after Retirement for Rural Schools

Summary: Under current law, rural school districts can declare a critical shortage of qualified teachers, school bus drivers, food service workers, school nurses, or paraprofessionals and hire PERA retirees to fill those positions without having their retirement benefits reduced. This bill adds principals and superintendents to the list of qualified positions.

Sponsors: Sen. Rod Pelton, Sen. Janice Marchman, Rep. Ty Winter, Rep. Barbara McLachlan

Status: Passed third reading in Senate Feb. 16; introduced in House and assigned to House Education Committee

HB24-1159

Contracted Private Employee Exclusion from Public Employees’ Retirement Association

Summary: Imposes a moratorium until June 30, 2025, during which PERA is prohibited from including in its membership an employee of a third-party private entity that contracts with a public entity to perform services.

Sponsors: Rep. Don Wilson

Status: Introduced Jan. 31; assigned to House Education Committee

HB24-1169

Repeal Divest from Companies with Israel Prohibitions Law

Summary: In 2016, the general assembly enacted HB16-1284, which requires PERA to periodically identify all companies that have economic prohibitions against Israel and to divest all direct holdings of those companies from its assets and prohibits PERA from acquiring new direct holdings in any of those companies. This bill would repeal the statutory provisions enacted in HB16-1284.

Sponsors: Rep. Elisabeth Epps

Status: Introduced Jan. 31; scheduled for hearing in House Finance Committee on Feb. 26.

Defined benefitAlso known as a pension, this is a type of pooled retirement plan in which the plan promises to pay a lifetime benefit to the employee at retirement. The plan manages investments on behalf of members, and the retirement benefit is based on factors such as age at retirement, years of employment and salary history.

Comments

  1. G M SANTO says:

    Just two more bills that enrich a few members at the expense of all members (and state pension funds)… any chance PERA Board & Staff (PERA B.S.) might push the legislators peddling these bills to make an appropriation to PERA to actually fund these changes? Unlike PERA B.S.
    letting Senator Will Perry’s bill slide last year (to allow wildlife officers to retire earlier under state trooper PERA classification), without an appropriation to finance it, except on the backs of retirees!

    • Charl Hill says:

      Blah ba blah

    • Pixel Chi says:

      Nothing more dangerous than a democrat politician determining the definition of fairness.

    • Sheryl Hobbs says:

      A COLA that meets the needs of ALL retirees is more important than benefits/changes that line the pockets of very few. Why does the decreasing dollar value of PERA pensions never make it to the table?

  2. G M SANTO says:

    HOW TO PROPOSE LEGISLATION? ATTEND YOUR CAUCUS!

    Legislative relief might be secured through one of only two ways PERA beneficiaries have. Not waiting for PERA Board & Staff (PERA B.S.) to do anything but by contacting your elected representatives in a way they’ll be hard pressed to continue to ignore you (except when looking to rob you). ATTEND YOUR LOCAL CAUCUS!

    PERA retirees should attend March 9th neighborhood caucuses, after which attendance should be known by mid-March along with the strength to sway the majority party’s priorities for this year’s General Assembly; and test everyone’s political will in April at the state assembly/convention; but regardless, lawsuits (the other way to impact legislation) won’t start forming until after Sine Die (May 9th., last day of the session). Watch “The PERA SITE” fbook page or email ‘handsoffmypera@hotmail.com’ to get or share information about pending litigation, after Memorial Day. In the meanwhile, those attending local caucus are encouraged to contact me at ‘handsoffmypera@hotmail.com’ to say how it went and if they’ll be an Alternate or Delegate to their county assembly.

    REGISTER WITH A PARTY BY FEBURARY 16 AND ATTEND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CAUCUS ON MARCH 9. Note: Caucuses along the front range for Democrats are the ones that matter (because they’re the majority party). PERA members need to attend and get elected as delegates and alternates!

    Happy MLK Day – Guy

    P.S. – If you attend parades and political rallies, politely needle your elected statehouse representatives to start actually representing you by restoring a fair PERA COLA (don’t settle for anything less than 3.5%).

  3. Linda Vaughn says:

    Still waiting to see serious effort made to prohibit withholding our paid SSN benefits many paid in over pre PERA service and withhold SSN widow benefits to surviving partners who have PERA accounts. At a minimum they should return every SSN penny paid to SSN to those of us being held hostage by this act of theft.

    • Mary Goldsberry says:

      I completely agree. My husband worked his whole life for that SS benefit only to have them take it away from me when he passed at 68 years old.

    • Ben Fromuth says:

      Completely agree. How many members have worked other jobs out of state and contributed to SS, yet have SS benefits denied? Legions! I would love to at least get out of social security what I put in – with a little interest.

    • G M SANTO says:

      If you’re talking about the Government Pension Offset (GPO) for widows and widowers and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which reduce Social Security benefits because you have a government pension; then you should be very upset; but you’re barking up the wrong tree by posting about it here on PERA On The Issues (P.O.T.I.).

      You need to contact your U.S. Senators and the Republican members of Congress from Colorado to implore them to support The Fairness in Social Security Act! Of course, Colorado’s Republican congressional delegation thinks Social Security is welfare, and they only believe in Corporate Welfare For The Rich!

      P.O.T.I. only occasionally mentions the GPO and WEP issues to trick retirees into thinking they care about us and get us to waste time posting about it here, when you should be contacting your federal representatives. What all PERA beneficiaries should be doing is contacting their elected Colorado state house elected representatives and demanding a 3.5% annual COLA (and write comments about that on P.O.T.I)!

      • J Sullivan, not JJ says:

        Contact your US Senators & CongressionalRepresentative, no matter where you live! We don’t all live in Colorado. Ask your friends and relatives to do so as well.

        • G M SANTO says:

          YES! It’s mostly Republicans in Congress (right now in the House) that are holding the Fairness in Social Security Act hostage! This is the best shot the Fairness in Social Security Act has ever had… and it’s an election year! Be polite, but be firm, tell them repealing WEP & GPO is the ONLY ISSUE THAT DETERMINES HOW YOU VOTE (the stupid politicians don’t listen to reason, but they have staff that count the number of contacts they get on various issues and that’s the primary focus group they all use).

  4. Fred+Boettcher says:

    SB 24 004 is a dumb idea. It is unfair. It is of minimal help to anyone. It avoids the issue that PERA and the general assembly have both supported policies to harm retirees. Democrats used to care about these issues, but they have now moved on to more important constituencies…the homeless, the illegals and the addicts.

  5. Rich Wilke says:

    The only ones, as far as I can see, that are benefiting from the last several years of State
    legislation, which PERA supports, is for the Upper Management of PERA! The average PERA retiree is losing purchasing power every year, due to the antics of our Legislatures! Try living on 25% of Social Security, 50% WEP, because of total disability taken too early! See how grateful you would be if you were struggling to get by with a 1% increase each year! Before taxes eat it up!

  6. Brown Sandy says:

    PERA retirees are now approaching a 20% deficit in our take home pay due to the inflation in the past 3 years. We get our measly raises every two years! Just waiting for the property tax bill to put us under water more! How about a COLA raise like Social Security. Colorado has one of the highest COLA increases in the US. 2023 shows almost 6% increase.
    How about the legislature take up PERA retirees well being!

    • Benjamin Fromuth says:

      Absolutely right. I retired in June of 2022 and will not get the 1% raise until 2025. Meanwhile inflation ate up about 20% of my actual income. Ouch!

  7. Ben says:

    Wait so the people at the top get more and everyone else just sit and say good for them??? No Give money to the bottom of the scale who need it.

  8. Ev Vaughan says:

    How does the legislature expect PERA retirees to live on 1% increases when the cost of everything is going higher and higher. We worked hard and now we are treated like we don’t exist.

  9. Eric "Ric" Rogers says:

    What is the possibility of sponsoring or advocating legislation to increase the C-O-L-A to, at least, match that of Social Security?
    While the COLA is appreciated, one percent is hardly what we were lead to understand back in the day. It is hardly enough to keep up with inflation.
    My first several years of retirement the COLA was 3.5% and that, in it self, while better than 1%, it would only be enough to offset the present inflation rates of 3 to 4 percent. The GA needs to understand that we need help.

    • Pixel Chi says:

      The legislature is awash in money thanks to the local property tax windfall. What you pay in additional 2023 local property tax the legislature can now spend somewhere else at their discretion. Pera retiree’s are locked into meager COA’s until 2048, so kick back and be patient.

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