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  • PERA’s low returns call for changes to the system

    PERA’s low returns call for changes to the system0

    • July 25, 2016

    by Joshua Sharf The leaders of Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) assure us that if we have patience, long-term investment returns of 7.5% will fully fund the program’s promises to retirees over the next forty years or so. But what if those returns fail to materialize? Moving PERA from the current defined benefit plan

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  • Colorado’s PERA shortchanging state workers and taxpayers0

    • June 23, 2014

    Problems with Colorado’s public employee pension system are making it hard for our state government to attract some of the best employees. That’s the persuasive finding of a new study by the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank in Washington. An employer’s retirement plan is part of an overall compensation package designed to entice and

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  • Fairness in retirement age a necessary public pension reform0

    • June 3, 2014

    Imagine that you and your neighbor are friends and professional peers. You belong to the same professional organizations. You each have worked for your respective employers for a long time as retirement approaches. But one of you works for a private employer, the other for the State of Colorado. The state employee can retire with

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  • PERA’s Problems in 20130

    • September 18, 2013

    The trajectory of the Public Employee Retirement Association of Colorado’s (PERA) financial condition has been anything but linear. From times of seeming excess to times of projections for failure, the public employee pension scheme has changed radically over time. As of 2013, expected improvements to the system’s outlook have not materialized, and PERA is once again in crisis. While far from alone in the gov- ernment employee problem, Colorado may be facing one of the worst current circumstances.

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  • The Colorado Government Pension System Introduction and Basic Organization0

    • April 22, 2013

    Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) is the State’s largest pension plan, with more than 483,000 members as of 2011. Government contributions exceeded $1 billion in FY2011.

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  • Preventing Bankruptcy in State and Local Pension Plans in Colorado0

    • August 22, 2012

    State and local governments report the funding status of their pension plans in financial statements following standards set by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Historically, those standards allowed state and local governments to use an actuarial model and to discount liabilities based on the long-term yield on the assets held in the pension fund. The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) uses an 8 percent discount rate comparable to that used in most state and local pension plans. GASB also allowed state and local governments to use a smoothing technique to calculate the funding status of the plans. With this smoothing technique, losses incurred on assets in one year could be averaged over several years.

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