Moody’s: Colo. pension system in fiscal trouble

The Daily Sentinel reports on Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) long term issues.


The Daily Sentinel; March 12, 2015 By Charles Ashby
Charles.Ashby@gjsentinel.com

Colorado’s largest public employee pension system has some long term woes that need to be fixed, Moody’s Investors Services announced Thursday.

Despite substantial reforms approved by the Colorado Legislature in recent years, the state’s Public Employee Retirement Association continues to show long-term financial solvency issues. In a new report issued by Moody’s, a New York Citybased bond credit rating system, PERA’s state and local government pension liabilities have continued to grow despite sweeping reforms that included increasing contributions into the plan from active government workers and reducing an automatic cost-of-living increase for retirees. The report says the pension’s long term liability has grown to $17.3 billion, making it the 16th highest in the nation.

“The reforms substantially reduced PERA’s aggregate unfunded liability, first reflected in the actuarial valuation for fiscal year ended 2009,” said Moody’s analyst Thomas Aaron. “But in subsequent years unfunded liabilities have generally continued to grow.”

The Moody’s report said the state helped address the pension’s unfunded liability in 2010 with mandatory contribution increases from employees and employers, but said they will fall short of making the pension viable because the employer increases end in 2018…

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