DENVER -- On the final night of session, lawmakers raced to change retirement benefits for public employees in the State. The changes passed both the House and Senate.
They are changing what’s known as PERA, the Public Employee Retirement Association in the State.
According to lawmakers, the pension fund is in trouble - with over $50 billion in liabilities in future years.
As a result, the changes passed include raising the retirement age for new employees; forcing current public employees to pay more into retirement each year; freezing cost of living adjustments for current retirees; and putting more taxpayer money to make the pension plan more solvent.
Here is the plan that advanced at the Capitol:
- Raising the retirement age to 64 from 58 for new employees. (Currently teachers can retire at 58 while many state employees can retire at 60)
- Freezing cost of living adjustments for two years for current retirees and reducing it to 1.5 percent from 2 percent in future years.
- Using $225 million in taxpayer dollars to sure up the public pension fund
- Mandating current state employees to increase contributions to the pension fund from 8 percent to 10 percent by 2021.
Governor Hickenlooper addressed lawmakers to try to gather support for the plan which ultimately passed late Wednesday night. Hickenlooper rarely intervenes publically when it comes to legislative issues so the move was a significant one.
The 2018 Colorado legislative session ended at midnight.