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.
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.
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.
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 copera.org/board-of-trustees.
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.