Colorado will have an alternate 401(a) plan for new state employees hired after Jan. 1, 2006. Each new hire will have 60 days to decide between the state's existing 401(a) plan, the new plan run by the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association, Denver, or the existing $26 billion PERA defined benefit plan, which is the default option. The current 401(a) plan has $17 million in assets, according to the Money Market Directory. Gov. Bill Owens signed legislation creating the new plan on June 4.