As we continue to examine the tenuous financial position of Colorado PERA, let’s not lose sight of an equally important reason public sector pensions need an overhaul: they’re tilted steeply in favor of older members at the expense of younger state employees.
People who stay in the system their entire careers receive generous retirement benefits. But today’s millennial generation workers are more likely than not to switch jobs and even careers multiple times. If over the course of their working life they dip into and out of employment with the state, they get the shaft in multiple ways. Read some of the research on this from the Colorado Pension Project for more detail.
More recently, the excellent national organization, teacherpensions.org, published a post on its blog examining four ways state pension systems make it hard for teachers to leave the teaching profession and retain any significant portion of the retirement benefits they earned. While this focuses on teachers, it can be applied to any category of workers under the PERA umbrella.
Take a look at the post. We will be returning repeatedly to the topic of younger workers being put in a tough spot by the structure of the PERA system.