A Colorado commission looking at ways to reduce the Public Employees Retirement System of Colorado's $12.8 billion shortfall recommended cutting the number of board members, reducing benefits and raising the retirement age. The Commission to Strengthen and Secure PERA proposed replacing the current 16-member board with a smaller board that "balances the interest of plan participants, employers and state taxpayers," according to the report. The commission didn't recommend a size, but suggested board trustees have prior education or a professional background in finance or pension management. It also called for an independent financial review of changes in benefits and contribution levels before the Legislature takes action.
The commission also laid out a series of financial reforms, including increasing the employee contribution to 10.5% from 8%, making it equal to the state's contribution, and raising retirement age for current workers to a minimum of 55, with the possibility of increasing the age to 65 for younger employees.
State Treasurer Mark Hillman is reviewing the study and "may seek legislative changes" to the pension program going forward, according to a news release. Brian Anderson, spokesman for the treasurer, said it was too early to discuss potential legislation.
Katie Kaufmanis, spokeswoman for the $32 billion system, said PERA executives are reviewing the commission's recommendations.