The Colorado PERA Board of Trustees met on Friday, June 17 for its third meeting of 2022.
The Board took action on a number of important items, including approving the release of PERA’s 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, and announcing results of the recent Board election.
2021 annual report released
Every June, PERA releases its annual report for the previous year. The 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) is a detailed summary of PERA’s investment performance, funded status and membership information for the 2021 calendar year.
For the year that ended Dec. 31, 2021, PERA’s investment portfolio earned a return of 16.1% net of fees, surpassing its benchmark of 13.7%. Over the past 10 years, the fund has earned an annualized return of 10.9% versus its benchmark of 10.1%.
The value of the total fund increased to $65.6 billion in 2021, up from $58.3 billion at the end of 2020. PERA’s funded status at the end of the year was 67.8%.
“While 2021 was a strong year financially for PERA, investment performance is just one factor among many that determine how much progress we’re making toward our goal of full funding,” said PERA Executive Director Ron Baker. “It’s important that we keep our focus on that long-term goal, monitoring and reacting to any changes to keep PERA on track.”
Automatic Adjustment Provision
When the Colorado General Assembly passed the package of PERA reforms known as Senate Bill 200 in 2018, the Legislature mandated that PERA reach full funding within 30 years — by the end of 2047. Included in those reforms was the Automatic Adjustment Provision (AAP), which automatically adjusts member and employer contributions as well as the Annual Increase (AI) paid to eligible benefit recipients if PERA is off-track to meet that target.
The AAP calculation is made on an annual basis, to take effect the following year. Based on 2021’s financial results, adjustments will not be necessary in 2023.
Board election results
The Board held an election for open seats in the School and State divisions in May and announced the final results at its June meeting.
Members of the School Division elected Scott Smith to represent them on the Board. Smith, chief financial and operating officer at Cherry Creek School District 5, fills a seat currently held by Guillermo Barriga, who did not seek re-election.
The State Division elected Tracy Marie Rushing. Rushing, a supervisor in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, fills a seat currently held by Ashley Smith, who was appointed to the Board in 2021.
In addition to the above results, the Board appointed two new Trustees. The Board appointed Catherine “Trina” Ruhland to represent the Local Government Division. Ruhland is a deputy county attorney with the Boulder County Attorney’s Office. Ruhland fills a seat vacated by Cheryl Pattelli, who left the Board in November 2021.
The Board appointed JB Phillips to represent the School Division. Phillips is a middle school science teacher in Fruita and fills a seat vacated by Tina Mueh, who retired at the beginning of June.
Ruhland and Phillips, as appointees, will serve seats until the next Board election in 2023.
Click here for more information on the Colorado PERA Board of Trustees.