Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Inside Colorado Pera

PERA’s Response to COVID-19

The implications of the spread of COVID-19 now reach deep into
every corner of our lives, and these are difficult times for all of us. We are
all concerned about the health of our family and friends, and we also know that
many are also burdened by worries about jobs, bills, childcare, and so much
more.

I wanted to take a moment to let you know how Colorado PERA
is adapting to this temporary new reality and what you can expect in the days and
weeks ahead.

  • PERA will continue to operate and benefit recipients will receive their benefit payments. Every month, we send out more than $400 million in retirement benefits to thousands of benefit recipients, most of whom live in Colorado, and we will continue to pay retirement benefits even though 90% of our staff will be working remotely.
  • We will continue to serve you. You can still call Customer Service, send in forms, update your information, and log in to your account. We thank you for your patience if you encounter a slightly increased wait time—we are working to improve our capabilities every day. Additionally, if you are currently retired and still receive your benefit check in the mail, we ask that you consider using direct deposit instead. It’s free and simple to set up. Making this switch will alleviate the need for staff to be in the office, and you don’t need to make a trip to the bank.
  • All in-person services have been moved to webinar and phone platforms. This includes group meetings with our Field Education staff and individual meetings with a benefit counselor. Use our online meetings and appointment scheduler to sign up for these free services.
  • Our PERACare plans offer COVID-19 testing at no cost. If you use one of our PERACare plans, know that any test you receive for COVID-19 will be covered at no cost.
  • We continue to be a long-term investor. Some members have asked about PERA’s investments and financial health amid the recent global market. As PERA’s Chief Investment Officer, Amy C. McGarrity, noted a few weeks ago, we can’t predict what markets do, but we can—and do—incorporate risk into our investment decisions. In any given short-term period, the portfolio may perform better or worse than long-term expectations. However, we are confident that PERA is well positioned to continue to invest through the ups and downs of the market cycle, providing the opportunity to achieve our long-term goals.
  • We will continue to keep you updated. We will continue to share updates with our members via our website.

We don’t know when this unwelcome chapter will end. But I
know that we already live among those who will help us get through it. In the
coming weeks, Coloradans will look to PERA members as we find our way through
to the other side. We will draw inspiration from the teachers who find
innovative ways to continue inspiring their students, from the CDOT employees who
work hard to keep our roads safe for the emergency workers and movement of goods
we all rely on, and from the public health professionals working tirelessly to
stop the spread of the virus. All of us at PERA thank these and countless others
who are at the forefront of this crisis.

Sincerely,

Ron Baker
Executive Director, Colorado PERA

Comments

  1. Kathleen Blair says:

    I m thinking the anticipated raise for retirees in July would maybe put on hold. Certainly understandable as far as I’m concerned. We are fortunate to have PERA

  2. Marianne Wood says:

    There are thousands of us who thank God every morning for PERA and the people that keep it functioning. We love you all..

  3. Kevin says:

    Thanks for that reply, PERA. Kathy. I’m sure PERA would gladly accept a donation from you.

  4. mvs says:

    Retirees have not had their promised raises in 2 years. Understandably this year is vastly different. However, retirees have shouldered a burden they should not have had to endure for the past two years. Thus, I’m glad to hear we will at least receive that in July. Who knows if I’ll ever see another in my lifetime!

  5. Bruce Gill says:

    Both my wif’e’s and my monthly deposits were short this month. I assume that is in anticipation of the $1,000 supplement for the federal governments covid-19 economic stimulus?

    • PERA On The Issues says:

      Hi Bruce,
      Benefit amounts are not changing for any reason. If there was any issue with your account, please call 1-800-759-7372.

  6. Royce Kolb says:

    As there is always a shortage of Speech Language Pathologists in the schools and all therapy services now need to be conducted remotely on a one on one basis, is there any grace on the restrictive rules around only being able to work 110 days in a calendar year or you have to pay back a percentage of your PERA benefits?

  7. Rae says:

    Thank you PERA

  8. Jim McGannon says:

    I agree with Kathleen,
    I would be willing to forego the annual increase if it makes PERA more sustainable. This is a time of sacrifice and I would leave it on the table for consideration.

  9. Shirley Goodwin says:

    I think I speak for the vast majority of PERA members when I express my sincere appreciation and admiration for the job you are all doing under difficult circumstances! You rock!

    • I agree 100% with Shirley’s comment. I feel I am truly blessed to have PERA on my side. I worked for nearly 30 years, for Youth Corrections, and never did I wake up wishing I didn’t have to go to work that day. I loved every one of my co-workers, and many of them remain close friends of mine. Thank you, PERA, for always being there for us elders. You are appreciated.

    • Wendall Johnson says:

      I totally agree with you Shirley.

  10. Julie B O'Brien says:

    Thank you PERA!

  11. Mary says:

    All my paperwork and processes are underway for me to retire on June 1. Is this still going to be possible?

  12. Marci Pokrywka says:

    Thank you for all you do to help retirees! We deeply appreciate you.

  13. Gary St Clair says:

    Thank you PERA you all rock, thanks for all you do, I hope we can endure the ups and downs for the next lifetime as well.

  14. Gary says:

    Great Job Pera, thanks for taking care of the retirees…

  15. Tom Gaffey says:

    Thanks PERA for not cutting COLA increases scheduled for this year. You can’t imagine how extremely important these increases are to all retirees. Some of us have no other sources of income and truly need these increase!

  16. Chris says:

    Do what you need to do to keep PERA afloat for the long haul.

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