Introduction for Resources Page

In the News

Pension changes challenged in California

California, which contains $550 billion to $750 billion of the nation’s total unfunded pension liabilities, will no longer see on November’s ballot a bipartisan bill to curb public pensions.

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Steps toward pension reform for Milwaukee Public Schools

“Without Act 10, MPS would eventually spend an additional $105 million – 9.2% of its entire budget – in 2020 due to the growth of retirement expenses,” says a statement released with the new summary report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

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Actuaries say public pensions underfunded by $5 trillion

According to a recent Forbes article, “almost no other pension plans in the world are allowed to use the kind of accounting that U.S. state and local plans can.

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Colorado PERA’s take on current investment earnings

Although Colorado’s pension system did not see large earnings on investments in 2015, Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association had a “troubling spin” on PERA’s returns. Read more. 

Pithy Video

This short video from the folks at teacherpensions.org does a superb job of explaining the basic issues at play in the ongoing debate over public sector pensions. This one focuses on public school teachers, but its points are applicable across the board.

PERA member profiles

These true-to-life profiles of different types of PERA members illustrate why the current system poorly serves a large number of Colorado state employees, including teachers.

Risk Redux

The Wall Street Journal published an in-depth article in May 2016 on the pension risk issue. Read it here. 

PERA Reports

PERA 2016 Report

PERA’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was released on June 20, 2016. It showed that the unfunded liability increased by $5.4 billion and that the PERA Board lowered the assumed investment rate of return and discount rate from 7.50% to 7.25%. Read the report here.

PERA 2015 Report

PERA’s 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was released on June 21, 2016. It showed paltry investment gains for 2015, but put what a Denver Post editorial termed “troubling spin” on the bad news. Read the report here.

PERA 2014 Report

PERA’s 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was released on June 20, 2015. Read the report here.

Studies

Actuaries say public pensions underfunded by $5 trillion

According to a recent Forbes article, “almost no other pension plans in the world are allowed to use the kind of accounting that U.S. state and local plans can.

(more…)

Risky Retirement

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation commissioned this 2015 study of PERA and its precarious position. It’s a must-read and easy to comprehend despite the complexity of the issues discussed.

National Context

The National Center on Teacher Quality produced this landmark report early in 2015. It places Colorado’s public pension woes within a national context.

Riskier Investments

In 2014, the Pew Charitable Trusts examined how public pension investments have shifted to increasingly risky stock investments and away from government and high-quality corporate bonds. Read the Pew report here.