Panel says cut PERA benefits, ditch board |

Panel says cut PERA benefits, ditch board

DENVER ” A state-appointed panel said Wednesday that Colorado’s public-employee pension fund should cut benefits and replace its entire board of directors to erase a projected $12.8 billion shortfall.

The panel, chaired by former Gov. Dick Lamm, warned the Public Employees Retirement Association will go bankrupt in 30 to 40 years unless changes are made.

PERA covers 68,000 retirees and 175,000 active workers in state and local governments.

Lamm said politicians had too much control over PERA and its 16-member board does not have the experience to run the fund.

“Politicians are at fault, PERA is at fault, governors were at fault. There is enough blame to go around,” Lamm said.

A spokeswoman for PERA did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The panel was established by Mike Coffman, the state treasurer who took a leave of absence to serve with the Marines in Iraq. Acting state Treasurer Mark Hillman received the recommendations from Lamm.

“Coloradans deserve a plan that state workers can count on and taxpayers can afford,” Hillman said.

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