Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

Amid Massive Budget Cuts, Joint Budget Committee Votes to Suspend Direct Distribution

pension review

On May 20, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) moved forward draft legislation that would suspend the State’s $225 million direct distribution to PERA for one year. The direct distribution is not related to retiree benefit payments, including those made using direct deposit. (Learn more about what the direct distribution is here.)

The bill was introduced as the General Assembly reconvened on May 26. To become law, it needs approval from the House, Senate, and the Governor.

The State’s Budget Situation: A Recap

A few weeks ago, PERA On The Issues outlined the budget challenges Colorado’s legislature faces. Billions of dollars they had planned on receiving in tax revenue is now suddenly off the table as the economy slammed on its brakes.

The JBC, a six-person bipartisan committee made up of members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, is charged with leading the State’s initial response.

PERA and the State Budget: Important Distinctions

PERA has a unique position in the state budgeting process. Retiree benefits, for example, are not paid via the state budget and are not affected by this bill. These payments are made from the investment funds PERA manages. Recent market volatility has affected investors around the world, including PERA. The Fund had $45 billion in assets at the end of 2018, however, and is designed to withstand the ups and down of the market.

In addition to investment returns, the Fund receives contributions from employees, employers, and the State. These various elements work together to maintain the health of the fund for the long term.

JBC Deliberation and Introduction in the House

On May 11, PERA Executive Director Ron Baker, Chief Investment Officer Amy McGarrity, and Board of Trustees’ Chairman Tim O’Brien presented to the JBC. They gave a brief presentation that outlined the costs of the proposals the JBC was considering and answered questions from committee members.

In the following days, the JBC decided to pursue one of the JBC staff proposals: withholding the direct distribution to PERA for one year. This $225 million payment was first implemented upon the passage of SB 18-200. It is scheduled to resume in 2021.

The bill was introduced in the House on May 26.

The Impact to PERA

The suspension of the direct distribution has a negative impact on reducing PERA’s unfunded liabilities. PERA projects that the long-term cost of suspending the direct distribution to be nearly $1 billion over the time frame to reach 100% funding in all divisions.

This does not mean that PERA is cutting a check for $1 billion today. Instead, that figure is calculated by determining what the value of that $225 million would be if PERA invested it and realized its assumed rate of return.

The PERA Board, as fiduciaries and pursuant to their funding policy, opposes reductions in contributions to PERA while PERA has unfunded liabilities. The Board has also acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the budget deficit.

PERA On The Issues will continue posting updates on this, and all PERA-related legislation, as it moves through the legislative process.

Editor’s note: This story was edited on 5/29 for clarity.

VolatilityVolatility of returns is the measurement used to define risk. It describes the variation of price of a financial instrument over time. The greater the volatility, the higher the risk.

Comments

  1. Ross says:

    While this seems drastic, it is one way that retirees can do their part. And I think it fundamental that we ALL do “our part”. (That is why I support the waiving of the senior property tax provision. I also think that many retirees received $1200 payments from the IRS–that I did no “earn”– that will compensate for that increase in tax.) I always think that there ought to be some method by which those retirees who are in the highest tax brackets should shoulder more of the load than those in the lower. Maybe that does happen?

    • Paul says:

      Ross, If the legislature needs to raise taxes on everyone so we can “ALL do our part” to address the budget shortfalls then so be it. BUT don’t do it by placing an extra burden on PERA retirees. I completely disagree with the practice of singling out an isolated group of taxpayers (PERA retirees) and solving the budgetary shortfall with another new Bill to circumvent the state’s obligation to make the direct distributions to PERA. This will have an adverse impact on future calculations that will determine whether retirees receive a COLA in future years. Losing a viable COLA may not substantially change your life or mine but it really does matter to most retirees whose incomes are solely based on PERA pensions derived from mid to low range salaries they earned as switchboard operators, admin clerks, etc.
      From my point of view, we all earned the PERA benefits including the promised Annual Increases that were in place at the time we retired. The state has a moral and ethical, if not legal, obligation to pay it. This ongoing practice of changing the law to solve budgetary problems by taking money away from pensioners has to stop.
      To your point about the $1200 IRS payments, a retiree should not have to worry about future COLAs so much that they have to squirrel away the $1200 stimulus money from IRS to offset part of the long term impact on their state pension income as a result of Colorado not meeting its obligations to PERA. If the Trump administration was foolish enough to send the $1200 to fat cats like you and me who may not need it, we can CHOOSE to do the right thing and donate it to people who are truly in need or send it back to the IRS.
      Can’t for the life of me understand why you think PERA retirees should shoulder tax burdens that belong to all taxpayers but hope you will reconsider and support your fellow retirees in the future. Paul

  2. Orlando Ortega says:

    Will this reduce our monthly payments from Pera?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Orlando. This bill would not affect monthly payments.

    • GM Santo says:

      Who are you going to believe? Yes, of course eventually retirees will suffer (current and future ones) as well as all workers (present and future). Monthly benefits have already been affected because the state refuses to pay the actuarial required contribution (ARC), that’s why we’ll only get a measly 1.25% COLA this July TO COVER THREE YEARS! And that will be the last COLA ever! Of course the legislature failing to pay into state pension funds adversely effects monthly payments, eventually! PERIOD THE END!

    • Matt says:

      Get off it. We earned our money. We should not be penalized from ideas like people like you. To include cutting our social security benefits, that wind fall tax is crooked as all get go. So go back into to own world. If you want to give up some of your income the do it, that is your choice. Maybe suing China to make up for all Americans loses…………….

    • Bo Black says:

      You can’t f^cking read can you? Today’s illiterates teaching tomorrow’s.

  3. Monika Strauss says:

    I hope this doesn’t happen. Retired teachers are dependent on the income and can’t make it on less!!

    We paid into PERA for many years and trusted the system. Retirees are facing inflation in addition to increase in prices due to the Covid-19 crisis.

    Teachers are grossly underpaid for all the work they do. Could that finally be appreciated??

  4. Karla Miller says:

    Does that mean we would not receive our PERA retirement pay for a year? The article is not very clear.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Karla. This bill would not affect monthly benefits. Retiree benefits are not paid via the state budget. These payments are made from the investment funds PERA manages.

  5. Christina hinkle says:

    I am retired. Will I still receive my monthly pension?

  6. Angela McLean says:

    KINDLY ADVISE:
    Does this mean that all annuities a for retirees will NOT be disbursed for an entire year?
    This is shocking information.
    I look forward to your reply.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Angela,

      No, this bill does not have anything to do with retiree benefits. PERA has a unique position in the state budgeting process. Retiree benefits, for example, are not paid via the state budget. These payments are made from the investment funds PERA manages.

  7. GM Santo says:

    Obviously PERA Board & Staff (PERA B.S.) have no clue about how finances or politics work (let’s see if the moderator of this site will post my comments as quickly as PERA took my money?): The law is clear, the only way to fund PERA is through member and employer contributions – period the end! Because the state is an employer that has to make contributions, they lower their contributions and increase workers’ contributions while eliminating retirees’ COLAs, period the end. The reason the state fails to pay the actuarial required contribution (ARC) is they need to shift the money from paying the ARC to back fill budgets because they won’t raise taxes (which they could for pension obligations and emergencies, despite TABOR)… PERIOD THE END!

  8. Debra McKee says:

    Retirees should have input into any direct deposit changes to our income. You should ask your membership to choose between available options when/if reductions are to occur. Give us as much notice as possible so we can plan ahead. Keep us informed as to legislative changes and shortfalls.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Debra. The Direct Distribution the State makes is separate from the direct deposit method that retirees often use to receive their monthly benefit. Retiree benefits are not affected by this bill. We will keep you informed on this and any other PERA-related legislation.

    • Anne Porter says:

      Half of these questions could be eliminated if you guys read ALL of this….this does not effect retiree benefits!!

      • Barry Thorpe says:

        Not yet…. pay attention. If the state contributions are suspended, then investment goes down, then return is low, and you have the excuse to again, deny the Annual increase.
        This is a ridiculous and unnecessary notion. PERA has reneged on retiree cola benefits now for 10 years . Mismanagement has cost me about $180,000 since my retirement under CONTRACTUAL conditions.. in addition they continue to take no action to reverse the loss of social security benefits. The taxpayers of Colorado are in unprecedented boom times. Fund the Pension obligations, stop trying to steal from the fully vested retirees!!

        • Phil Helms says:

          The taxpayers of Colorado are NOT in unprecedented boom times. And what makes you think that PERA or the State of Colorado are trying to cheat or steal from you?

          We’ve had economic problems in the recent past, and now again with COVID-19. If we want PERA to be sustainable, then we need to control our unfunded liability. To do that, we can’t just ignore economic downturns.

          Having said that, however, I do believe that aiming for 100% funding is a mistake that produces unnecessary stress on the state budget.

        • Debbie says:

          Amen!

  9. Gayle Packard says:

    It seems all the changes benefit government to the detriment of employees and retirees.

  10. Wanda says:

    How does that affect our monthly money we receive

    • GM Santo says:

      Of course you’ll keep getting monthly benefits (and a measly COLA this July), but you’ll never see another COLA ever! Eliminating retirees’ COLAs is how PERA keeps payouts low so the state can pay as little as possible (of their debt on what they owe to the pension funds). The “direct distribution” was a partial down payment of what the state already owed the pension funds, in order to start addressing the state’s arrears, which occurred in the first place so the state could spend that money elsewhere in the budget (and did so over a number of years)! Here’s the complete list of Representatives that cast the crucial votes that assured passage of SB-200; in the dark of night on the last day of the General Assembly that ended in 2018; and forever denies us COLAs after a measly 1.25% increase this July!
      Representatives:
      Becker – R
      Becker – D
      Beckman – R
      Benavidez – D
      Carver – R
      Catlin- R
      Coleman -D
      Covarrubias – R
      Ginal – D
      Hamner -D
      Hansen – D
      Hooton – D
      Kennedy – D
      Landgraf – R
      Lawrence – R
      Liston – R
      Lundeen – R
      McKean – R
      Melton -D
      Neville – R
      Pabon -D
      Rankin – R
      Ransom – R
      Reyher – R
      Rosenthal – D
      Sanie – R
      Sias – R
      Thurlow – R
      Van Winkle – R
      Weissman – D
      Williams – R
      Wilson -R
      Winkler – R
      Wist -R
      Two non-voting (?) Representatives, Lewis (R) & Willett (R); but add former Governor Hickenlooper to the list of 34 (of 65 Representatives) that railroaded through SB-200 in 2018.

      • Charl says:

        I don’t think we will get even close to 1.5 Cola. If we get .5 id be surprised. And really I think they can go to .25
        .and yes Hickenlooper was our last failure for Pera. Hope he stays out of politics. For our the country’s sake also.

        • Paul says:

          Yup and Hickenlooper recommended reducing our COLA even further than what we ended up with. If he goes to the Senate the folks who rely on Social Security will not be able to rely on him to protect the SS COLA any more than we could for PERA. Fortunately, Romanoff is doing well in the race and has a good shot at beating him.

      • Charl Hill says:

        GM SANTO thanks for the list of guilty parties.

  11. Robert Moderhak says:

    What effect would this action have on our continuing to receive our monthly retirement checks?

  12. Bill Heicher says:

    What about the proposal to change the timing of future payments to the last day of the fiscal year instead of the first day-in effect delaying the next payment until June 30, 20222?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Bill,

      That was a proposal that was discussed at one point by the Joint Budget Committee. They ultimately decided to not move that idea forward.

      • Rich says:

        I recall as a state employee when the state used an accounting ploy to move our pay date one day in order to shift payroll to the next fiscal year. It helped balance the state budget at the time. No idea why this would not work in this instance can the moderator explain. Additionally, I would hope the moderator would stop saying that this bill will not affect our monthly retirement benefit as several have pointed out, it may well affect our monthly benefit in the future but just not next month.

  13. Robert Quinonez says:

    How will affect retirees?

  14. Michael Casey says:

    Does this mean PERA retirement benefits to those of us currently retired will be reduced?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Michael,
      No, this bill only addresses the State’s direct distribution, and does not affect PERA’s payments to retirees.

  15. Danny Ackerman says:

    Okay…..and just how do you suggest that I make my mortgage payments………..are the folks in the Colorado State Legislature going to take a pay cut as well? How about you folks do something to rid the state of the illegal immigrants who get paid under the table and DO NOT pay any taxes, etc, etc, etc

  16. Pamela Brady says:

    What dies direct distribution mean? Is it that monthly benefits will not ve made directly to ETF or something rlse?

  17. Candice says:

    Retired PERS employees depend on their monthly distribution to stay alive, active & healthy! Do not reduce the monthly distributions!!

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Candice,
      Thanks for your reply. Please note that the State’s Direct Distribution is different than the monthly benefit retirees receive from PERA. This bill does not affect retiree benefits.

  18. Karen Walker says:

    I do not understand what this means. I receive Disability Retirement from PERA. How does this affect my monthly direct deposit? I appreciate your time on helping me with this matter.

    Thank you
    Karen Walker

  19. Jim McGannon says:

    So, exactly what does that mean for retirees?

  20. William Slade says:

    As the budget goes I think we need to help when possible. Maybe trim the help to half or something along those lines. We gave the state back a one percent reduction several years ago and it was never returned. We need to be very careful with what we propose.

  21. Sue Quam says:

    Does this mean that state employees and retirees are held harmless for a period of time as well? It seems unfair to cut what they are required to pay us and yet continuing to cut our cost of living increases as we will be unable to reach full funding in the time period demanded by law..

  22. Bonnie Kittel says:

    How does this affect retiree’s monthly checks?

  23. Raymond Allen says:

    PERA should suspend our Benefits and PERA Saleeries by 10 Percent for a period of time. Get the fynd back on track!!

  24. Linda Sneed says:

    What do this mean? Does it affect my account?

  25. Bonnie Pottorff says:

    What does suspending the direct distribution really mean to retirees?

  26. William Saladin says:

    If these state PERA employees were in the social security system instead of PERA, how much of that $225 million dollars would the state be paying to the Social security system? (I think it is around 6.2 % of their income). And would they be trying to suspend those direct distributions from the federal government?

  27. Dan Tadie says:

    This will leave the fund with an even greater deficit this year. 2 decades ago the state suspended payment to PERS for 5 years to the tune of over a billion dollars. The unpaid liability by the state was never righted, thus contributing to the underfunded status when the market turned sour. A few years later the state voted to reduce our annual adjustment due to the underfunded status for which they were partially responsible. No integrity with these folks. Here we go again…

  28. Christopher J Richards says:

    What exactly is the Direct Distribution? How is it allocated? By saying “The Board has also acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the budget deficit.” is PERA backpedaling? This absolutely reeks of another Republican attempt to dismantle public retirement programs such as PERA.

  29. L Mason says:

    As a retired teacher this is quite concerning.
    I’ll be contacting CO senate and congress.
    PERA is no picnic and these times make it even worse. I so wish CO would have been in SSI. My life would be less complicated and I wouldn’t have lost so much money.

  30. Antje Sliger says:

    What does that mean? Do we still get our benefits?

  31. Sally StanleyNot get a cost-of-living increase this year? Does this mean we will not get a retiree monthly check for one year? Need answers ASAP so we can plan what we will do for the next year without a check. says:

    Does this mean we will Not get a cost-of-living increase this year? Does this mean we will not get a retiree monthly check for one year? Need answers ASAP so we can plan what we will do for the next year without a check

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Sally,

      The annual increase is still set to go into effect in July. Retiree benefits are not affected by this legislation. The Direct Distribution the state makes is not related to retiree payments.

  32. Paul says:

    Regarding the statement: “The suspension of the direct distribution has a negative impact on reducing PERA’s unfunded liabilities.”
    Could you please explain the negative impact of withholding such a sizable distribution on the potential for Annual Increases in 2021 and forward?

    If I remember correctly, the formula you built into SB200, will cause further reductions of the potential Annual Increases in future years if PERA’s unfunded liabilities fail to meet a certain threshold.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the comment. The Automatic Adjustment Provision can adjust employee and employer contributions, the annual increase, and the direct distribution. It is based on an annual calculation, which is compiled at the end of every year. A decrease in any kind of contribution increases the unfunded status of the fund. This is one factor in the calculation: other factors include investment returns, demographic experience, and more.

      PERA will soon be releasing its 2019 financials in its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. This will include an update to the status of Automatic Adjustment Provision as it stood on December 31, 2019. This year’s calculation will take place at the end of 2020.

  33. Paulette stugart says:

    Will this affect my monthly Pera retirement direct deposit check?

  34. Sharon K Van Gorder says:

    How with the suspension of the direct distribution affect PERA employees contribution into PERA effective July 1, 2020? Will we remain at the current percentage or will it increase on July 1?

  35. Tom Coursey says:

    The state and employing entities that pay into PERA as matching to employee contributions has never taken their responsibility seriously. That said these are uncertain times so drastic measures are inevitable. I believe PERA should additionally consider benefit reductions for a year in order to protect the future.

  36. Richard Gilstrap says:

    As an employer, I do not understand how the State can decide to not contribute to PERA. If State employees were covered by Social Security the employer (State Government) would not have a choice, they would contribute to SS, or am I wrong?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Richard,

      The Direct Distribution was instituted two years ago as part of SB 18-200. It is used to pay down the unfunded liability. The State still makes contributions to PERA in the form of Employer contributions ($1.745 billion in 2018). https://www.copera.org/sites/default/files/documents/5-21-18.pdf

      By state statute, the State Legislature sets contribution rates into PERA.

      I can’t speak to Social Security rules or statutes.

    • GM Santo says:

      Senate Bill 200 (in 2018) was railroaded through in the dark of night at the end of that legislative session (thank you Hickenlooper, and a bunch of Democrats like KC Becker from Boulder)… AND IT WAS NOTHING BUT A SOP TO STANDARD & POORS TO PREVENT THE STATE’S CREDIT RATING FROM BEING DOWN GRADED AND THE DIRECT DISTRIBUTION WAS REALLY PAID FOR BY RETIREES LOOSING THEIR COLAS UNTIL 2020! Well now the state has no credit rating and the measly 1.25% you’ll get this July is for the last two years and forever into the future. NO MORE COLAS EVER, BUT THE LEGISLATURE DID NOT REPEAL THAT PART OF SB-200, NOPE JUST THE PART WHERE THE STATE COUGHED UP A SMALL PART OF WHAT THEY WERE IN ARREARS TO THE PENSION FUND!

  37. George A. Dushan says:

    So then, how will the suspension of the direct distribution affect PERA? Retirees? Will it eliminate the COLA this year? Affect future COLAs? Retiree pay?

  38. Terri Lukavitch says:

    Will I not receive my retirement?

  39. Pixel Chi says:

    Is this $225 million mandated contribution from the state the only contribution the state owes PERA or is there additional “IOU’s” from the legislature owed to PERA from prior years?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Pixel,

      The State also makes contributions to PERA in the form of employer contributions. In 2018, total employer contributions totaled more than $1.7 billion, though some came from non-State employers (like local governments). The Direct Distribution began in 2018.

  40. Jack Mazzella says:

    Doesn’t this mean anyone that is contributing to their pera fund, and expects a match, will therefore make less money annually for the year this takes place.? Or am I misunderstanding this.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Jack,

      Contributions in your DB account will still accrue interest at the same 3% rate it has been.

  41. Mike Cavin says:

    So EXACTLY what possible effect does this have ,if passed, on the monthly benefit income of a PERA retiree?? Please be as specific as you can

  42. Don says:

    Does this mean retirees won’t get monthly paychecks for 12 months?

  43. Warren S. Witler says:

    Hello,
    As I understand this purposed legislation, it will not effect our monthly payment benefits, is that correct? Also will this effect our 1.25% raise this July?
    Thank you for your answer to these questions.

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Warren,

      Thanks for the question. You are correct; the legislation deals with the State’s direct distribution to PERA. Retiree benefits and the annual increase are not part of the bill.

  44. Matt Maikowski says:

    Does this mean I will not receive my monthly Pera retirement payment ?

  45. Tim Allport says:

    Can you specify how this bill (if passed) would impact employees close to retirement or becoming vested in PERA?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      This bill does not change any retirement calculation. It only modifies the direct distribution, created in 2018, that the State makes to PERA to pay off the unfunded liability.

  46. Heidi Chambers says:

    What does all this mean? Are we losing our pensions and medical?

  47. Steve Kellums says:

    I vote no. The State not meeting it’s obligations to it’s employees is unacceptable. The retirement benefits are one of the primary reasons professionals work for the State instead of working for the private sector. The State needs to have a plan to reimburse the PERA account if this is truly the only immediate knee jerk reaction as the market seems to be rebounding. State assets should be sold and heavily subsidized programs should be cut first before breaking retirement agreements with State employees. This is not right or fair; especially over something as ridiculous the flu. In my opinion, the number of COVID-19 cases in Colorado required to justify this drastic of a budget cut just are not there. We all need to get back to work!

    • Jay Jonah says:

      While I hate that the direct distribution will be cancelled, this distribution was enacted by the State in the first place as a bail out for the unfunded liability to PERA. The State did not have to do this and could have taken even more from retirees and workers. This is not a knee jerk reaction to the “flu”. If you listen to the joint budget committee, dollars are coming from everywhere: education, higher education, prevention programs, selling assets, refinancing, and cash funds. 3.3 billion dollars is more than three times the shortfall we faced in the great recession. For all the retirees that are asking “how will this impact my benefit”, read the comments. It WILL NOT impact your benefit. What it will do is impact current employees who will have to contribute more or work longer to ensure it WILL NOT impact your benefit. It will, in all likelihood impact their monthly paycheck. Your welcome.

  48. Terry Porter says:

    I understand the need to make up for the shortfall of lost income during the COVID shutdown, but why is it a whole year’s distribution instead of a quarter or even a third proportional to the time of the shutdown? We are not being shutdown for the whole year and in fact, much has still been open for some revenue. At the same time, many government jobs were furloughed, so there was some reduction in expenses during this same time. A full year’s distribution is excessive burden on PERA.

  49. Vicki Rienks says:

    Is this going to affect the monthly pension I receive from PERA?

  50. Bonnie Van Roekel says:

    I still don’t understand what direct distributions are or how this impacts me as a retiree in PERA. This article did not do a good job of defining or explaining its terminology.

  51. Thelma Slocum says:

    If I understand this vote to suspend direct distribution, then I am against this legislation. It unfairly hits retirees from PERA.

  52. Pete Robinson says:

    We will all have to make sacrifices because of the pandemic. What concerns me is that the legislature tends to make a one year proposal into an ongoing action by automatically renewing previous budget decisions. If the jbc decides to include this proposal, we need to make sure that it is an automatic sunset and requires more than cursery discussion to renew in a year.

  53. Jeanie Bein says:

    How would this impact monthly payments to retirees?

  54. Donna says:

    I am sick and tired of every legislation being introduced is to hurt the hard working older retirees. We need to start stNding together and keep this from hsppening. First we lost part or all Social Security, were paid less working government with promise os defined retirement Since 2006 have lost 1.75 % yearly increase (compound thst) snd now this. Why don’t you just line us all up and put us on the streets to die, it would be wuicker and less painful. How is that for truth and transparency!

  55. Barry Northrop says:

    Promises, promises. So much for shared pain. In the end, this will come out of workers’ and retirees’ hides. I promise you that.

  56. Wayne McCormick says:

    What is the possible bottom line: I am a PERA retiree since 2010. Will my retirement check be effected?

  57. Jack Arnsparger says:

    Would they make up that contribution in future years? Ha Ha! I think I know the answer to that

  58. French Tom says:

    Will PERA be able to maintain the income of retirees over time. ?

    • Charl Hill says:

      Hey Tom it’s Charl and no to your question if we continue to let the Politicians make major decisions for our welfare.

  59. Does this in any way affect those of us who are on a Pension from Pera. I am on Social Security and this Pension so it is vitally important to m y well being.

  60. John Carlson says:

    I believe that any time that the state starts to “change” or delay their contribution to PERA, we are looking at the possibility that it will be something that they continue to do once that precedence is set. I would hope that we can have some impact on our elected officials
    To ensure that this doesn’t happen.. I thought this “distribution” was funding they were obligated to maintain.

  61. cara meyers says:

    is our state starting to short change our employees pension fund like Illinois and other states who use the pension fund as a reserve piggy bank for the state’s shortcomings? if this payment is not made this year when will it be re- deposited into PERA? hmmmm pretty disconcerting …I know people are hurting in Private sector and they wish to go back to work..and we need to balance our budget but again let this not be a new crutch for our legislature to fall back on in following years..

  62. roxana schultz says:

    This is the same thing they have done in the past with economic downturns and then they come back and never fulfill the obligations to PERA. Eventually they use it against PERA to argue that it is unsustainable and is too much of a risk to continue and should be gutted and privatized. This is not a good course of action unless it is written into the bill the State will need to pay back the monies they withhold.

    Retirees have been thrown under the bus too many times before to let this happen again.

    • Charl Hill says:

      You go girl. Good sense . We need more people like you involved in Political influences concerning PERA’s financial stability.

  63. Larry Williams says:

    This proposal stinks. The suspension of contribution will exacerbate the existing law which will mean no COLA for additional years.

  64. Janet M Tanner says:

    The Colorado legislature is proposing a 7.7% salary increase for themselves. Our state is $3 Billion short for the current fiscal year, and the legislature’s proposal is both morally fiscally unsound.

  65. James S Pavicich says:

    What exactly is “Direct Distribution” ? Is it the State’s share of matching payroll contribution?

  66. Charl Hill says:

    Hear we go again. Politicians working for us? I would certainly think there are some very touchy legal issues with this kind of stab at PERA’s financial stability, by the (JBC). It’s always easier for our politicians to take money away rather than actually earning their pay and thinking to resolve a problem. I would hope Governor Polis has a better plan. This legislation seems to be a direct effort to financially Wreck Pera. Funny our politicians never look at their raises/ healthcare, Vacation pay or retirement.
    The State has a promise and a responsibility to help keep our Pera system viable. Or so you’d think.
    Just a reminder to our politicians. We do vote.
    Just saying

  67. Raymond Rabe says:

    To both the Legislature and the PERA board and staff leadership: please keep in mind that some of the PERA retirees are too old and/or have health issues that getting a job or some other source of income to replace a cut in benefit is not possible.

  68. Linda Kinnaird says:

    what does this mean for our monthly retirerment checks?

  69. Heidi Chambers says:

    Are we going to lose our pension and healthcare?

  70. Herman Strobl says:

    There is no way the State of Colorado should be allowed to suspend payment for their obligation to pay their past employees. The retired employees agreed to work for the State with the understanding that they would defer payment for their services until after retirement. The State of Colorado is responsible to pay their employees for their services just as any other employer. The State must be held accountable now! If they are not held accountable now, they will continue to use any excuse they feel like to not pay in the future! They have already not met their obligations by lowering the yearly cola.

    • Barry Thorpe says:

      Absolutely true. The stated goal of the taking of our Annual Increase was to insure that PERA can meet all its financial obligations. I say, the taking away of a contractual Annual Increase is, in itself, the failure to meet financial obligations!

      I’m really fed up with sacrificing my benefit, while taxpayers of Colorado are not contributing to keeping up. To tell these people there is no impact on their paycheck is blatantly inaccurate. The current law provides several ways that the COLA can be reduced or suspended when funds are short, and THIS is definitely leading to a shortfall.

  71. Fred Boettcher says:

    Do you get the idea that this was a poorly worded release? And it took PERA one week to put it together. Not good.

  72. Charl Hill says:

    Don’t forget what Mayor Bach, (BACH) did for PERA in Colorado Springs. He and his administration single handily eliminated hundreds or even thousands of PERA employer jobs. Ruining many people’s lives and careers. Not to mention the loss of contributions to our PERA system. Now the skullduggery continues with the government giveth and taketh away by adding all sorts of sneaky wording in every legislative initiative.

  73. Sharon K Van Gorder says:

    PERA needs to provide an update on the effect of these changes that explains all aspects. If you would have taken the time to explain the effect, how it impacts monthly benefits, active member contribution %s it would not have caused the panic. Please be more prudent and supportive of PERA members in the future with FULL DETAILS! The original article posted caused undue stress to active members and retirees — just look at the number of comments and questions.

  74. Hairstyles VIP says:

    Good post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

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