(April 29) – The House Finance Committee voted 10-1 this evening to pass a bipartisan bill by Speaker Pro Tem Dan Pabon, D-Denver, allowing Colorado PERA to capitalize on current low interest rates to increase long-term returns with no cost to Colorado taxpayers.

Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association currently has $25 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. HB15-1388, also sponsored by Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, would cushion the risk through the issuance of bonds.

“This allows us to take advantage of today’s low interest rates to reduce the unfunded future liabilities in PERA,” Rep. Pabon said. “The bill has safeguards in it to make sure that bonds will only be issued after a legal validation proceeding.”

The bill is the culmination of nearly a year of work by the governor’s office, the treasurer’s office, the attorney general’s office, the Colorado Coalition for Retirement Security, Colorado PERA and Rep. Pabon to find bond proposals that will increase returns to reduce the unfunded portion of PERA’s pension liability. It allows the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to issue bonds using money from future employer and employee contributions to PERA.

The bill will now be heard on the House floor.

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