Colorado Public Employees Retirement System, Denver, terminated its merger with the $2.4 billion Denver Public Schools Retirement System. The board for the $30 billion Colorado system made the move "in the best interest of Colorado PERA members," according to a PERA statement, which also noted that new legislation would be required to facilitate the merger. The state system's action was allowed under terms of its merger agreement, said Bob Scott, executive director of the Denver schools plan.
Separately, Mike Coffman, Colorado state treasurer, charged Wednesday that PERA is "actuarially unsound," despite a 24.1% rate of return in 2003 and legislation boosting contributions from the state. As of Dec. 31, PERA faced an unfunded liability of almost $10 billion, up from last year's projection of $4 billion, Mr. Coffman said in a statement. He is a member of the PERA board.
According to PERA's latestannual report, the fund is financially sound and able to pay benefits for decades to come. "We believe it (the annual statement) fully discloses PERA's funded status at year-end 2003," Katie Kaufmanis, PERA spokeswoman, said in an e-mail response to Mr. Coffman's statement.