Treasurer Walker Stapleton introduces bill to address runaway taxpayer costs of Colorado Pension System

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2017                                                                                                                                                       


Treasurer Walker Stapleton introduces bill to address runaway taxpayer costs of Colorado Pension System
 

Denver, CO— Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton has introduced a bill to address some of the structural shortfalls in Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) that are negatively impacting the budgets of many PERA divisions.  
 
Currently, PERA has about a $30 billion dollar unfunded liability. The unfunded liability is the money the system owes but currently does not have in its accounts. This bill, SB17-113 sponsored by Senator Tim Neville, will cap contribution rates at 2018 levels as set forth by SB10-001, the Amortization Equalization Disbursement (AED) and Supplemental Amortization Equalization Disbursement (SAED). These contributions have, on an incremental scale from 2006 to 2018, continued to raise the employer or taxpayer costs into PERA. The employer or taxpayer contributions will top out at more than 20 percent by 2018.
 
“This bill simply caps taxpayer contribution rates at 2018 levels, contribution rates that have increased since 2006.  These sky high contribution rates are stressing the budgets of our schools and local governments,” said Treasurer Stapleton, a long time advocate for PERA reform. “This is about protecting taxpayers and PERA members from a system that just keeps going back to the taxpayers and asking for more money without making any structural changes to actually fix what is broken. This will prevent that in the future.”
 
According to a recent Denver Post editorial Douglas County Schools paid $54.5 million into PERA in 2016, 20.5 percent of their payroll costs, a 100 percent increase from the 10 percent they paid in 2007. This bill will stop these increases from continuing to siphon off money that should be going into the  classroom to fund a bankrupt pension system.
 
“As calls for PERA to address their $30 billion unfunded liability continue to get louder, our lawmakers should recognize that taxpayers are already doing more than their fair share,” concluded Treasurer Stapleton.

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