Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

New Trustees Join the PERA Board

Tim O'Brien

Chairman Timothy M. O’Brien to serve third term

Joining the 16-member Board is Judge Rebecca R. Freyre from the Judicial Division and Cheryl Pattelli, who was appointed by the Board to fill the vacant Local Government Division seat. Current PERA Trustee Timothy M. O’Brien, who is also the current Board Chairman, will serve a third four-year term on the Board of Trustees beginning July 1. Both Mr. O’Brien and Judge Freyre were the only candidates certified for election.

Mr. O’Brien has been the Denver City Auditor since 2015 and was the Colorado State Auditor from 1984 to 1995. He is elected by retirees from the State, Local Government, and Judicial Divisions, and has served on the Board since 2011.

Judge Freyre, of the Colorado Court of Appeals, will
begin a four-year term on July 1. She fills the seat formerly held by Judge
Will Bain, who did not seek re-election.

Ms. Pattelli is the Chief Financial Officer at the City of Boulder. She joins the Board due to the retirement and resignation of Robert Lamb in May. She will serve until the next Board of Trustees election in 2020. Ms. Pattelli’s first official Board meeting will be in September.

PERA’s governance structure distinguishes between the roles of the Board and the General Assembly. The General Assembly has authority to make changes to PERA benefits and contribution rates while the PERA Board is responsible for administrative oversight and has the responsibility to set the actuarial assumptions used by the plan. Trustees have access to world-class consulting firms to assist them in setting the assumptions (both demographic and economic) used in the measurement of the financial health of the system.

The Board is composed of 16
Trustees: 11 elected by the PERA membership; three Governor-appointed Trustees;
a non-voting ex officio member elected by the membership from the Denver Public
Schools Division; and the State Treasurer, who serves as an ex officio voting
member of the Board. More information on the Board of Trustees may be found on
the PERA website.

The PERA Board meets five to six times a year. In addition to attending meetings, Trustees also have a responsibility to educate themselves and stay current on topics affecting PERA. To fulfill this educational requirement, Trustees attend classes and seminars related to PERA and the public pension plan industry. New Trustees attend an orientation seminar to review PERA’s history, governance, fiduciary responsibilities, ethics, legal and legislative issues, actuarial principles, and other current issues facing the Board.

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

For more information:

the role of Trustees

Serving as
a PERA Trustee fact sheet

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