Presentation by PERA
INTERIM COMMISSION TO STUDY FISCAL STABILITY
04:01 PM -- Presentation by the Public Employee's Retirement Association (PERA)
Representative Ferrandino called the meeting back to order.
Meredith Williams, Executive Director of PERA, discussed the background of PERA and its plan and schedule for addressing its unfunded liability. Mr. Williams provided a print out of a presentation that provides an update on PERA (Attachment O). He also provided commissioners with a legislative timeline for PERA (Attachment P). He described the causes of PERA's current unfunded liability. He also described the increase in the employee share of contributions in recent years under the Amortization Equalization Disbursement (AED), and supplemental AED (SAED).
Mr. Williams described the legislation that has affected PERA in the last decade. He also discussed the impact of the current recession on PERA investments and indicated that significant changes are necessary for PERA to pay benefits in the future. He also discussed the role of the PERA board and the legislature regarding PERA investments as well as actuarial analyses. He described recent actions by the PERA Board, including an examination of the cost of each component of PERA pension plans and PERA's upcoming "listening tour," in which the PERA board will travel around the state to receive input and feedback from the community.
Mr. Williams indicated that a comprehensive proposal to address PERA's financial situation is expected by mid-October. In response to Representative Gerou's comments regarding lack of action during the 2009 legislation session to address the unfunded liability, he expressed his belief in the need for deliberate study and a comprehensive approach to the problem. He also compared PERA's pensions to other states' pension programs. Mr. Williams also reported the rate of return on investments for 2008, which was negative 26 percent, and year to date return in 2009, which was 3.15 percent from January through June.
Mr. Williams and Gregory Smith, General Council, PERA, concluded their presentation by discussing folding Denver Public School System (DPS) retirement fund into PERA and indicated that PERA will inherit the liabilities of the retirement fund but any unfunded liabilities within the DPS division will not flow to other divisions of other trust funds.