US - Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) executive director Meredith Williams said he was optimistic legislative reforms to address key issues would be achieved this year, as the fund looks to shed its US$11bn deficit.
While Williams agreed an solution to its problems would prove elusive, he said that the PERA board would continue to seek legislative reform that would address issues facing PERA while treating members, retirees, and all taxpayers fairly.
“We remain optimistic that such a legislative solution is attainable this year.”
Williams made specific mention of Senate Bill 174, currently pending before the Colorado General Assembly, which he said would bring PERA to a fully funded status with all liabilities paid off in a reasonable amount of time in terms of pensions.
“Yes, it does take time, but the fact is that pension policy has long-term and far-reaching impacts,” said Williams. “I wish there was a magic wand that could be waved to eliminate PERA’s liabilities, but I am also a realist who knows that there are no quick fixes when it comes to pension policy.”
He also stressed that there were no immediate solutions that did not negatively impact some segment of PERA, including active and inactive members, benefit recipients, and PERA’s public employers.
By Damian Clarkson
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