State employee retirement fund only has 71 cents for each dollar owed |

State employee retirement fund only has 71 cents for each dollar owed


COLORADO SPRINGS – The state’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association has only enough money to pay 71 cents on over $1 it owes future retirees, The Gazette reported Sunday.The newspaper said the fund’s portfolio, the 25th-largest pension plan in the nation, was hit hard during the recession.”PERA will simply not be able to fulfill its future obligations unless we made changes now. We must tackle tis problem this year,” Gov. Bill Owens said in his State of the State address. He said the problem will become more expensive to fix if it isn’t resolved soon.The newspaper said much of the attention focuses on PERA’s 16 member board, which is said to have been too slow to respond to the problem and is dominated by public employee representatives who want to preserve benefits.”Clearly, the new board should include member who are not part of the pension plan and who have some investment experience,” said Owens, who recommends creation of an 11-member board. It would have at least four members appointed by the governor.Opponents say it is an attempt to take power from the board.”What they are trying to do is get more political appointees on the board as opposed to having the membership control the plan. We have a better stake in the situation. PERA has been working for long time, and it’s been working very well,” said Scott Noller. he is a Colorado Springs School District 11 junior high teacher and voting member of PERA’s board.Noller said PERA has been around 40 years it is natural that shortfalls will occur, but the market will correct itself.Meanwhile, PERA’s board has offered its own solution: a two-tier system of benefits. Those hired before Jan. 1, 2000 would get the original promised benefits. Those hired later would pay more into the system and get less back.

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