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Inside Colorado PERA

Recap of PERA Board’s January 2024 Meeting

Recap of the PERA Board's January 19 meeting

The Colorado PERA Board of Trustees met on Friday, January 19 for its first regular meeting of 2024.

The agenda included important topics of discussion and various action items. Some of the Board’s major actions at the meeting are summarized below.

Board appointment and Vice Chair election

Current Board Vice Chair Suzanne Kubec is retiring, and therefore vacating her seat on the PERA Board. In accordance with Board policy, Chair Marcus Pennell moved to fill that seat with the candidate from the State Division’s previous Board election who received the second-highest number of votes. As a result, Ashley M. Smith, who served on the Board from 2021 to 2022, was appointed to fill that seat until the next election in 2025.

Additionally, the Board held an election to replace Kubec as Vice Chair, and the Trustees elected Taylor McLemore to fill that role. McLemore has been on the Board since 2021 and currently serves as chair of the Ad Hoc Committee overseeing the search for PERA’s next Executive Director.

REMINDER: Four Seats on PERA Board Up For Election in 2024

Executive Director search update

McLemore provided an update on the Ad Hoc Committee’s Executive Director search, stating that more than 200 people have applied for the job. The committee is working with an outside search firm to screen applicants and identify candidates of high interest who will receive in-person interviews in February. The committee will then provide a list of top candidates to the full Board, which will be responsible for selecting a finalist.

Legislative update

The 2024 legislative session is underway, and lawmakers have so far introduced three PERA-related bills. Interim Executive Director/Chief Investment Officer Amy C. McGarrity and Public and Government Affairs Manager Michael Steppat updated the Trustees on the bills:

  • HB24-1044: Would expand the number of PERA retirees who can work for school districts without reductions in their benefits.
  • SB24-013: Would increase district attorney and assistant district attorney pay and allow county boards to require assistant DAs to become a member of the PERA Defined Benefit Plan.
  • SB24-044: Would create a temporary tax credit for qualifying PERA retirees in tax years 2024 and 2025.

The Board generally takes a position on a bill if it has a financial impact on PERA, and Trustees voted to take an “amend” position on HB24-1044. That means the Board is looking for lawmakers to amend the bill to include a way to offset potential negative impacts on PERA’s funding.

READ MORE: 2024 Proposed Legislation Status

Asset/liability study update

In September, the Board began the process of examining PERA’s strategic asset allocation through what’s known as an asset/liability study. The Board’s consultants, Aon, discussed the work that’s been completed so far, including meeting with PERA’s investment staff and modeling future funding scenarios based on the existing asset makeup.

That work will continue over the next several months, with more analysis and modeling to determine if different asset allocation or levels of diversification would better help PERA meet its goals.

Future meetings

The Board has four more regular meetings scheduled for 2024:

  • March 15
  • June 21
  • September 20
  • November 15

In addition, the Ad Hoc Committee will be meeting to interview Executive Director candidates in February. All meetings are streamed live and include time for public comment.

For more information, visit

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.Asset allocationAn investor’s mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments. PERA’s strategic asset allocation is set by the PERA Board of Trustees.Asset allocationAn investor’s mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments. PERA’s strategic asset allocation is set by the PERA Board of Trustees.


  1. G M SANTO says:



    I know it’s the politicians that have raided PERA; and PERA B.S. can’t do anything about it; but I think a reply to this story is warranted to clarify a few things, I.e.:

    1.) Why is PERA B.S. suddenly concerned about legislation paying for impacts on the fund, with respect to HB24-1044 (but overlooked the need for politicians to make appropriations for things like early retirement, changing the status of Wildlife Officers to State Troopers for retirement purposes, shortening the time period to calculate actuarial soundness for amortizing fund valuations, and doing the right thing by paying a true and fair COLA, etc.)?

    2.) Why continue to insult beneficiaries by NOT opposing the transformation of an entitlement/contractual benefit into a welfare program via SB24-044 (just like PERA B.S. abandoned merit protection and civil service concepts in order to allow higher paid managerial, political appointments, and Senior Executive Service types to ride the PERA gravy train at the expense of rank-and-file public servants and their 3.5% COLA)?

    3.) WHY waste money on an Executive Director search and that salary… PERA B.S. has NO CREDIBILITY in doing anything anymore, and that money would be better spent on beneficiaries, not another over-paid lap dog of the General Assembly and presumably financial industry lobbyists.

    PERA B.S. may be proud of their January meeting, but I hope retirees show up in mass at their March 9th neighborhood caucuses to straighten out the mess at PERA (towards paying a real and true COLA).

    • Mark Hardy says:

      G M Santos, you mention “welfare” in a negative way an are apparently a Democrat yourself. That’s precious. The entire state is becoming a welfare state mostly because of Democrat’s efforts. Yes, they are running the show and own it. Maybe you are supporting the wrong side. And regarding the COLA, any increase to that hurts the future funding status still in recovery. I’d rather have something than zero, wouldn’t you? We don’t need the fund to circle the drain faster. It’s a long term math problem, not based on a couple years of above average returns.

      • G M SANTO, says:

        Dear Mr. Hardly,

        I don’t believe one’s political affiliation matters when one is being robbed, and presumably your “right side” party may also be a bunch of crooks, but of such an offensive character that the electorate votes for a lessor evil. I blame your ilk for failing to offer an alternative (most retirees probably recall governor Owens started the raid on PERA in such a manner as to force ensuing legislatures and governors to impose draconian cuts on beneficiaries to sacrifice the most to restore PERA to sufficient solvency). Yes, PERA is solvent, the crisis was artificial, created by the employer (the state) shorting their contributions. Of course, over paid bureaucrats, political appointees, most judges (at least on the state’s supreme court), probably educational administrators and athletic directors (and apparently you) are content to let rank and file workers and retirees sustain your generous benefits. However, I (who earned my benefits) am NOT content to sit idle while inflation devours the purchasing power of a pension without a COLA!

        Your rhetorical, “I’d rather have something, than zero, wouldn’t you?’ question, is of the mind set of destroying the village to save it; and like you, not worth a reply; but with respect to what the real math problem is…it’s the state shorting their contributions and reneging on paying promised benefits (the state is just staying off the title of “debtor in possession,” while ransacking our pensions for as much as they can until inflation does the rest).

        • Ted M Sillox says:

          There is a Democrat Colorado governor, a Democrat super majority in the Colorado House of Representatives and a Democrat majority in the Colorado Senate. If they are truly for the working people, I can’t figure out why they have not reinstalled the 3.5% COLA. With friends like that we don’t need enemies. Oh wait, it must be the Republican “boogie man” blocking the progress!

          • G M SANTO says:

            “… If they are truly working for the people…” is hardly a job requirement of being a politician, and thinking otherwise will leave you sorely disappointed or at least confused, because Republicans are just as culpable as Democrats for stealing our COLA. Theft of our COLA is not limited to either the Democrats or Republicans. Nevertheless, if PERA members attend their March 9th caucuses, then they could send a message to politicians to stop the theft, but which party do you really think would care even if high numbers of caucus attendees showed up demanding a 3.5% PERA COLA? Oh wait … I think it would be the party with the most members who are truly working for the people.

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