Durango Legislators Townhall @ Durango Public Library Conference Room Upstairs
Mar 24 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Come meet with Durango legislators before the legislative lowdown.

Lakewood Legislators Town Hall on PERA @ West Metro Fire HQ
Mar 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

What:  Lakewood Legislators Town Hall with Reps. Chris Kennedy & Brittany Pettersen & Sens. Andy Kerr & Cheri Jahn

When:  Sat 3/24, 10:00-11:30am

Where:  West Metro Fire HQ (433 S. Allison Pkwy, Lakewood)

From Senator Andy Kerr:


March 24, 2018

Come to my monthly Town Hall this Saturday, March 24th, co-hosted by Senator Cheri Jahn, Representative Chris Kennedy, and Representative Brittany Pettersen at the West Metro Fire Protection District Headquarters, located at 433 South Allison Parkway, Lakewood, CO 80226. This month we will be discussing the future of PERA, the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association, and SB18-200 which is currently being debated in the State Senate. We will be joined by Lynea Hansen (Executive Director – Secure PERA) and Ron Baker (Interim Executive Director – PERA).

Established by state law in 1931, the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) provides retirement and other benefits to the employees of more than 500 government agencies and public entities in the state of Colorado. Members of PERA include employees of the Colorado state government, public school teachers in the state, many university and college employees, judges, many employees of cities and towns, State Troopers, and the employees of many other public entities.

PERA is a substitute for Social Security for most of these public employees. Benefits are pre-funded, which means while a member is working, he or she is required to contribute a fixed percentage of their salary to the retirement trust funds. Employers also contribute a percentage of pay to the trust fund. The trust funds are then invested by PERA under the direction of the Board of Trustees. PERA’s investment strategy uses actuarially established investment objectives with long-term goals and policies.



Senate Bill 200 seeks to eliminate the unfunded liability of each of PERA’s divisions and reach a 100% funded ratio for each division within the next 30 years. The bill modifies benefits, increases contributions, ensures alignment of contributions, service credit, and benefits, and makes other modifications. I think this is a step in the right direction but I have extreme concerns about the bill in its current form.

A few things that greatly concern me is the defined contribution option added late into the drafting process, the increase of the retirement age for all members, and the finance committee’s amendment to remove the critical increased employer contribution piece from the bill. I believe the addition of the defined contribution section does nothing to help shore up the unfunded liability and will hurt PERA in the long run. The retirement age increase is simply unconstitutional due to certain contractual obligations within PERA. And the elimination of the employer contribution increase requires that employees, but not employers, pay more into PERA to receive their benefits, unfairly shifting the burden onto employees and not fairly sharing the cost of retirement between employers and employees.

From State Rep. Chris Kennedy:

Colorado’s public employee retirement system has been the subject of serious debate recently.

The Colorado PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association) board recently reduced their projections for our long-term rate-of-return by 0.25%, and they updated their mortality tables to reflect the evidence showing that Coloradans are healthy and living longer. Together, these changes are requiring us to evaluate policy changes to make sure PERA is solvent over the long run.

Though many of you on this list aren’t public employees or retirees, this issue means a lot to teachers and the employees of over 500 state government agencies. And because it has such a big impact on our state budget, this issue has caught the attention of a great many others.

Join the Lakewood delegation this Saturday for a town hall meeting to learn more about Colorado PERA, why we’re discussing major reforms this year, and what those reforms might look like.

When: Sat 3/24, 10:00-11:30am

Where: West Metro Fire HQ (433 S. Allison Pkwy, Lakewood)

My colleagues Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Andy Kerr, Sen. Cheri Jahn, and I will also be giving brief updates on our legislative agendas and taking your questions.

RSVP on Facebook here.