(July 17) – The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement fund reported impressive returns to the State Legislative Audit Committee.

The State Legislative Audit Committee reviewed an audit for PERA that showed a 12.9 percent rate of return on their investments for 2012, exceeding the 8 percent expected by the PERA Board of Trustees.

In 2010, the legislature passed the bipartisan Senate Bill 10-001, which sought to make PERA more fiscally secure after the stock market crash of 2008. That legislation increased employee and employer contributions, increased the retirement age, and lowered the amount of the cost of living adjustment retirees receive. Since the passage of SB 10-001, PERA has eliminated $9 billion in plan liabilities and nearly 90 percent of that burden was shouldered by employees and retirees, not the taxpayers.

“This comprehensive annual financial report found ‘no significant or material weaknesses’ and shows that PERA is moving in the right direction,” said Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver), the audit committee’s chairwoman. “We must continue to ensure that the positive reforms of SB 10-001 are implemented to continue to guarantee the solvency of the program.”

Over the next year, PERA will pay retirement benefits of over $3 billion to its retirees, with most of these dollars being spent here in Colorado’s economy. PERA will also invest nearly a half billion dollars into companies headquartered in Colorado.

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