Promoting & Protecting the Economic Well-Being & Quality of Life for All Retired School & Public Employees
CSPERA would like to congratulate the 2015 winners of the Bernadine Mack Foundation Scholarship. Each winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Fifth Grade Grandparent Essay Contest
Congratulations to our winners and everyone who participated in the contest!
CSPERA Annual Meeting
VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PERA ANNUNITY RECEIPENTS AND THOSE CURRENTLY IN THE DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN
SB 80 Expansion of Defined Contribution Plan Option, Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs)
The PERA Board voted to oppose SB 80 due to its negative impact on PERA’s funding status (the Fiscal Note estimates a $4.2 billion increase in PERA’s Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability) and is detrimental to the sustainability plan currently in place. The bill passed both the Senate Finance committee on a 3-2 vote this week, and a voice vote on 2nd reading in the Senate today. Senators speaking in favor of SB 80 on the Senate floor included: Senators Owen, Lundberg, Holbert, Roberts, Lambert, and Crowder. Senators Johnston, Kerr, Carroll, and Merrifield spoke in opposition to the bill. It is expected to have a 3rd reading vote in the Senate next week. The bill still does not have a House sponsor and our Lobby Team anticipates its defeat in the House Finance committee.
SB 97 Eligibility of a Supplemental Needs Trust to Receive Certain PERA Benefits, Sen. Irene Aguilar (D–Denver) and Rep. Lois Landgraf (R–Fountain)
The PERA Board voted to support SB 97 because it provides financial protection for certain disabled dependents of PERA members. It passed the Senate Finance and Appropriations committees this week, and is expected to be heard on the Senate floor next week.
SB 133 Compensation Report Prepared by the State Personnel Director, Sen. Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) and Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale)
The PERA Board voted to oppose SB 133 because it is the PERA Board’s duty to recommend retirement contribution rates, not the State Personnel Director (a politically appointed position and whose office does not have the expertise or knowledge to assess the appropriate rates on a biennial basis – and only oversees approximately half of the State Division’s active membership). It is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance
Very Important News!
On Monday, October 20, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of Colorado PERA and the State of Colorado in the Justus v. State of Colorado and PERA case. The Court upheld the reduction of the annual increase or Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) under Senate Bill 10-001. The Court stated, “We hold that the PERA legislation providing for cost of living adjustments does not establish any contract between PERA and its members entitling them to perpetual receipt of the specific COLA formula in place on the date each became eligible for retirement or on the date each actually retires.” Read the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Senate Bill 1 was a difficult but necessary action taken to ensure the long-term sustainability and value of the retirement plan, which is one of Colorado’s best investments, for more than 500,000 of Colorado’s public employees working to build and serve our communities. Through the shared sacrifice approach recommended by the PERA Board, the Colorado General Assembly responded after the Great Recession, and the Colorado Supreme Court agreed with our collaborative approach,” said Gregory W. Smith, Colorado PERA Executive Director. “PERA is a vital and stable contributor to Colorado’s economy, distributing $3.8 billion in 2013 to retirees who live in Colorado which helps sustain nearly 26,000 jobs.”
September 23, 2014
Colorado PERA and the City of Colorado Springs Announce Agreement on Memorial Health System Issue
DENVER–Today, the Colorado PERA Board of Trustees announced an agreement with the City of Colorado Springs to resolve the lawsuit between the City and PERA over the amount due to PERA to ensure that Memorial Health System’s departure from PERA does not negatively impact the 146 employers and 11,954 members in PERA’s Local Government Division Trust Fund. The agreement provides for the City of Colorado Springs to pay PERA $190 million for the liabilities associated with the retirement and health care benefits already earned by 7,380 Memorial employees for the work that they performed before Memorial ceased to be a PERA employer. The employees of Memorial were covered by PERA until Memorial was leased to the University of Colorado Hospital Authority on October 1, 2012.
"This agreement ensures that Memorial’s decision to exit PERA will not negatively impact the other employers and members of the Local Government Division," said Gregory W. Smith, PERA’s Executive Director. "We are happy to reach closure on this issue and believe this is an appropriate result for PERA members, beneficiaries and employers," he concluded.
This agreement restores the funded status of the Local Government Division trust fund which will return the trust to fully funded status approximately eight years sooner than is currently estimated. This payment enhances the long term sustainability and retirement security for the 30,000 local government employees, retirees and their employers who participate in Colorado PERA.
Colorado PERA’s General Counsel Adam L. Franklin added, "This agreement adheres to the law that no PERA employer can leave the financial obligations they owe to their employees and retirees for other PERA employers and members to cover. It helps maintain the integrity of one of Colorado’s best investments."
In 2012, the University of Colorado Hospital Authority assumed management of Memorial Health System which is owned by the City of Colorado Springs. At that time, Memorial Health System unilaterally terminated its affiliation with Colorado PERA to provide retirement benefits and services in lieu of Social Security to more than 7,380 Memorial Health System’s current, former, and retired employees.
In dispute was the employer portion of the contribution owed by Memorial Health System to PERA to cover the cost of providing retirement and health care to its former employees and retirees. In a February 2014 legal proceeding, a District Court judge ruled the City of Colorado Springs was liable under Colorado law to pay PERA for the employer portion of the contribution, and a trial regarding the amount owed was set for October 2014. Now that the parties have an
agreement on the amount the City of Colorado Springs owes, the October 2014 trial date will be vacated pending approval of the agreement by the Judge.
Colorado PERA provides retirement and other benefits to more than 500,000 current and former teachers, state troopers, snowplow drivers, corrections officers, and other public employees who provide valuable service to all of Colorado. PERA is a vital and stable contributor to Colorado’s economy, distributing $3.8 billion in 2013 to retirees who live in Colorado which helps sustain nearly 26,000 jobs. PERA manages $47 billion in defined benefit and defined contribution assets and has a 30-year, 9.5 percent annualized return, making it one of Colorado’s best investments.
Our efforts in legislation, health issues, retirement seminars, membership workshops, leadership training, volunteerism and communications are geared toward maintaining a high standard of living for Colorado retirees.
The Colorado School and Public Employees Retirement Association was founded in 1950 as a means of addressing the concerns of all retired school employees in Colorado. With expanded membership, our current mission is to promote the personal, social, educational interests and economic security of retired PERA employees.
CSPERA has added a NEW periodic bulletin, Breaking News! Due to postal cost and budget, most issues of Breaking News! will be sent just to those members for whom CSPERA has an email address, so be sure to make our office aware of your email contact so as to receive ALL of our communications (contact us via 1-800-748-2846, 303-326-1808 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The quarterly Newsletter will certainly still be sent to ALL members via email and hard copy postal mail to those members with no email address. Click below to read recent editions of Breaking News!
Colorado School & Public
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