Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Issues & Perspectives

Financial Education Resources for National Retirement Security Month

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October is National Retirement Security Month — a time to examine one’s financial situation, assess progress toward retirement savings goals, make plans to get on track, or make a goal and get started.

Retirement security is at the core of everything we do and everything we offer at PERA. This commitment is reflected in our mission statement: To provide retirement security for our members while ensuring the sustainability of the fund.

In 2021, PERA paid $4.35 billion in retirement benefits to more than 110,000 Colorado retirees. Each of those retirees can rely on receiving regular income from PERA’s Defined Benefit Plan for as long as they live.

Some PERA employers offer a choice between the Defined Benefit (DB) Plan and the Defined Contribution (DC) Plan, and PERA members also have access to optional PERAPlus 401(k) and 457 plans to save more for retirement. Knowing what combination of plans to choose can be challenging.

To help members further bolster their retirement knowledge and security, PERA launched an online Financial Wellness Library with a regularly updated collection of articles on retirement planning. These articles put into perspective the many factors that can impact saving for retirement, while providing suggestions that make the planning a little easier.

Financial Wellness Library

The educational content in PERA’s Financial Wellness Library is split into numerous sections, including: creating a budget, investing basics, preparing for life events, protecting your assets, saving and planning, getting ready to retire, and activities in retirement as well as links to PERA benefits and tools to help you achieve your financial goals.

There’s also a link to additional financial wellness content from Empower Retirement, PERA’s partner in administering the PERAPlus 401(k), 457 and DC plans.

In addition to general financial literacy information, the library includes articles to help you get more familiar with your PERA benefits and how they can help you meet your goals:

  • Get the Most Out of PERA: View Your Member Dashboard: Learn about the features available when you log into your member account on, including checking your account balance, seeing your estimated monthly retirement benefit, submitting forms and more.
  • PERA is With You Every Step of the Way Throughout Your Career: Whether you’re new to PERA or getting ready to retire, we have resources available to help you make the most of your benefits.
  • The Benefits of PERA Membership Start Well Before You Retire: PERA is more than just a retirement plan; we also offer survivor and disability benefits, voluntary savings plans and more.
  • Four Things New Members Should Do: If you’re new to PERA, this is a great place to start on your path to retirement security.

Visit to learn more.

Additional reading:

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.Defined contributionA type of individual retirement plan in which an employee saves a portion of each paycheck (along with a potential employer match) and invests that money. The employee’s retirement benefit is based on their account balance at retirement. A 401(k) is a type of defined contribution plan.

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