Out of all the political controversy the coronavirus has caused in Colorado, the pullout of Douglas County from the Tri-County Health Department — and the domino effect it had on Adams and Arapahoe counties — may be the action that ends up having the biggest consequences on some metro Denver governments. The costs of Arapahoe […]
Public Employees Retirement Association
Colorado’s pension system missed out on millions after lawmakers parked cash in low-interest account
Colorado’s pension system missed out on millions of dollars in potential investment revenue as a result of lawmakers’ decision last year to park money in a low-interest bank account, according to an analysis by nonpartisan legislative staff. The legislature set aside $380 million last year in a low-interest bank account to ensure the state could […]
PERA’s investments generated billions in 2020. But the Colorado pension’s financial condition worsened.
It was another frustrating year for Colorado’s 631,000 public pension members. Despite a banner stock market year that saw Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association generate 17.4% returns on its investments — more than double its target — the state’s public pension still ended 2020 in worse financial shape than it started. PERA’s unfunded debt to […]
More contribution hikes, benefit cuts may be needed to close $4.5 billion hole in Colorado’s PERA
Colorado’s 634,000 public pension members face automatic contribution hikes and benefit cuts in 2022 thanks to a financial failsafe that’s expected to kick in for the second time in three years. It would also require more taxpayer money from public agencies already reeling from the pandemic’s economic fallout. The latest round of expected austerity measures […]
As the financial crisis hits Colorado, PERA’s new oversight commission is sidelined
Two years ago, when Colorado lawmakers agreed to rescue the state pension plan from the financial brink for the second time in a decade, they insisted on new safeguards. Among them: A special oversight commission with a subcommittee comprised of lawmakers and outside financial experts to monitor the reforms, vet pension-related legislation, and — if […]
Before coronavirus, PERA had one of its best years in decades. Here are 3 concerns going forward.
Buoyed by stellar investment returns and the ongoing implementation of a legislative rescue package, Colorado’s state pension system in 2019 had one of its best years in decades. But — pension officials acknowledged with Friday’s release of the system’s annual finance report — the topline numbers belie the depths of the challenges the Public Employees’ […]
To balance budget, Colorado lawmakers add to PERA’s long-term debt and backtrack from landmark deal
Just two years after Colorado approved sweeping pension reforms aimed at wiping out what was then an unfunded $32 billion debt to public sector retirees, state budget writers — facing a financial catastrophe of their own — have temporarily undone a portion of the landmark rescue package. The Joint Budget Committee tentatively decided to eliminate […]
Colorado lawmakers began slashing the budget and state employees are bracing for the worst
Two weeks after she tested positive for COVID-19, Brandi Axelsen is still waiting for her symptoms to subside so she can return to work. The licensed psychiatric technician works for the state of Colorado and contracted the disease on the job helping clients with developmental disabilities. Her state-paid sick days expired and she now must […]
What PERA’s bad year means for public workers, retirees and taxpayers in Colorado, explained in charts
A bad investment year at a precarious time for Colorado’s public workers’ pension will mean more sacrifices than state lawmakers expected when they approved a sweeping deal to stabilize the retirement system’s finances in 2018. The good news: Unlike the legislature’s prior attempts to fix the Public Employees’ Retirement Association’s funding woes, safeguards are kicking […]
Low pay. Cuts to PERA. For some state workers in Colorado, it’s like the recession never ended.
When Colorado state workers took a temporary 2.5% pay cut in 2011 to shore up the state’s pension plan, Jane Wilson didn’t like it, but she understood. The country was in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And the stock market’s 2008 freefall had put the Public Employees’ Retirement Association […]