For Immediate Release
Communications Director & Public Information Officer
Governor Jared Polis Signs Bill Into Legislation, Keeping Promises Made to 650,000 State Employees
Denver, Colorado: TODAY, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 22-1029: Compensatory Direct Distribution To Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) into law, allowing a skipped deposit during the COVID pandemic in 2020 to be made up to the PERA Fund.
“Everyone deserves a sustainable and dignified retirement, including our dedicated public employees. Signing HB22-1029 into law is the right thing to do, keeping our promise to our hard-working civil servants. By taking action now, we are making our PERA members whole, and safeguarding Colorado’s financial future by limiting our liabilities.” State Treasurer Dave Young
"This important piece of legislation demonstrates Colorado's commitment to honoring its promises and responsibilities to those who have devoted their careers to public service in our state. When Colorado honors its responsibilities to appropriately fund PERA, not only are we keeping our word, but we are also being good stewards of public funds and ensuring that our pension liabilities are continuing to decrease over time. This is good financial management that will help protect the State's ability to fund other important responsibilities in the future." Representative Shannon Bird
“HB22-1029 Compensatory Direct Distribution To PERA puts $380M into the Public Employees' Retirement Association to restore a payment of $225M that was not made in 2020, due to pandemic-related budget cuts, keeping the promise made in 1931 to cover PERA employees. I strongly support our public employees who kept working during the pandemic to keep our state running.” Senator Chris Kolker
In 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado General Assembly cut billions of dollars from the state budget. As part of those cuts, it enacted legislation to forego the annual $225 million direct deposit to PERA. The payment scheduled for July 1, 2020 was not made.
PERA is the public pension and retirement system in Colorado. For public employees it is the replacement for Social Security. PERA provides retirement benefits to over 130,000 retirees. Current PERA employees contribute a minimum of 8.5% of their salary to PERA and are people who provide critical public services, including public school teachers, snowplow drivers, and first responders. Currently, over 650,000 Coloradans are members of PERA.
The skipped $225 million deposit would have earned over $78 million in interest due to PERA’s fund investment strategies. Specifically, PERA recorded returns on their portfolio of 20.3% in 2019 and 17.4% in 2020. Their average return over the last 10 years has been 9.4%.