Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Inside Colorado PERA

PERAtour resources

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PERAtour, the statewide community outreach effort that took place throughout 2017 to address PERA’s current funded status and risk profile, concluded its final phase of community meetings and programming in late 2017.

PERA is now working with legislators from both parties to develop a bill that reflects the PERA Board of Trustees’ proposed reforms to the plan. The legislation will be introduced to the Colorado General Assembly during the 2018 session.

To remain up-to-date as this critical bill makes its way through the legislative process, visit the “Legislation” section of PERA on the Issues regularly and sign up to receive our bi-weekly newsletter.

If you wish to learn more about PERAtour, the PERA Board’s recommended package of reforms, and PERA’s financial health, we invite you to explore the resource library below.



A video shared at community meetings during the second phase of PERAtour that looks at the proactive steps PERA is taking to address the long-term sustainability of the plan for the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who depend on it for their retirement security.


A video shared at community meetings during the first phase of PERAtour that takes an animated look back at PERA’s history from 1998 to the present.



A presentation shared at community meetings during the second phase of PERAtour that reviews the principles, priorities, and process followed by the PERA Board and provides an overview of the Board’s recommended package of reforms designed to address PERA’s financial health and funded status.



An outline of the PERA Board’s recommended package of reforms that will impact all PERA membership if passed by the State Legislature.


A synopsis of the feedback received from participants during the first phase of PERAtour community meetings across the state when asked to weigh in on core principles that should guide the PERA Board’s consideration of reforms to the plan.


  1. Alan Quiller says:

    To whom it may concern,
    I want to thank you for conducting the PERA tour last fall. I attended a presentation in Boulder by Greg Smith. He gave a wonderful presentation and was very sincere with the attendees. He was a very kind and intelligent person. He will be missed greatly.
    I have included some comments below which I sent to him in November. I wanted to add a few follow ups at this point. As you are I’m sure aware, the economy is doing very well. They are saying that it could be at 3 -4% growth. Also, the Boulder Leeds business school has projected a very positive year for Colorado. With that said, it reinforces my point which I made in my November email. The change made to retirees in the first Senate Bill was extreme and should be enough to warrant no impact in this coming bill. Also, it is not warranted to revise the rate of return anticipated for investments downward. Everyone agrees that it is important for the program to work towards full funding. However, the current upswing in investments and the economy should keep PERA headed that direction. When it changes and the economy is projected to turn down then it may be time to adjust the projected rate of return downward, not now. While it is a good idea to consider spreading the impact, retirees more than took their share from the first Senate bill.
    Thanks and I look Forward to revisions based on the current state of our economy.

    Hi, my name is Alan Quiller and I am a Pera retiree. I paid into Pera my entire career with the City of Boulder. I think Pera is wonderful and I am proud to be part of it.

    I attended the Pera tour on October 23rd in Boulder. You gave her very detailed talk regarding the status of Pera and Pera plans to address the shortfall. I appreciate very much you coming to Boulder and explaining this all to us. I realize that you are wanting to spread the effort between the employers, employees, and retirees. After listening to your presentation I wanted to give you my input.

    I retired in 2009. For many years prior to that time the annual increase for retirees was 3.5%. I planned my retirement based on this history. When the Senate bill was passed I was shocked that the annual increase would be reduced to a maximum of 2%. Also, we had the first year of 0%. Since that time I have lost over $14,000. With the proposal, the next two years would be 0%. By that point I would have lost $19,000. I feel that the reduction for retirees in the first Senate Bill what is extreme. That impact should be more than the fair share for retirees. I think it should justify why there should be no retiree reduction with this current plan

    Secondly, it seems that the last eight years we have had nearly 8% increase in the portfolio of Pera. Also, the 20 year and 30 year averages are nearly 8% as I understand from your presentation. Also, this current year is going great and with the potential tax reduction for businesses the future looks bright. With all this in mind, I don’t think it is warranted to revise the projected percent increase downward. The projection is already less than 8%. If this projection stays where it currently is, then it would not be necessary to be impact retirees with this plan.

    Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to effect this change.

    Thanks again,


    • Colorado PERA says:

      Dear Mr. Quiller,

      Thank you for your kind words about Greg Smith.

      Unfortunately, even though 2017 was a good investment year, the long-term forecast for the global financial markets is not as optimistic. The fact remains that even with one good investment year, the time it will take for the PERA trusts to reach full funding is beyond the 30-year time frame which is not only the Board’s goal, but a benchmark set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

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