Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado, Denver, spent about $33.5 million, on administrative expenses in 2004, representing about 0.1% of total assets at year's end, according to a report issued by the state's Legislative Audit Committee. Although those expenses are only 0.1% of the plan's $33.7 billion in assets, the association "has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, and used prudently in all areas of operations," the report said. The plan had an unfunded liability of $12.8 billion at the end of 2004.
The report, issued Tuesday, details PERA's practices and polices related to gifts, travel expenses credit cards and automobiles, among other areas. For example, the report found PERA spent $230,262 on board education expenses between 2001 and 2004, noting the budgets may be "higher than necessary." For its part, PERA is taking steps to control costs, reducing trustee education budgets to $12,000 each for continuing trustees, while leaving budgets for new trustees at $15,000, the report said.
State Sen. Norma Anderson, vice chairwoman of the legislative audit committee, said she is "pleased" that PERA Executive Director Meredith Williams is moving ahead. "He agreed with all audit recommendations and is implementing them by the end of the year."
Mr. Williams was unavailable for comment today. Katie Kaufmanis, PERA spokeswoman, did not return a call for comment by press time.