Vail Daily letter: Support PERA
July 8, 2014
To Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Gail Schwartz:
My name is Gail Eaton. I am a retired high school secretary and live in Gypsum. As a retiree I receive a pension from PERA as part of my retirement income, the other part is from savings (I am not eligible for Social Security). I want you to know how important PERA is to me and to Colorado. I recently read that PERA's 2013 investment return was 15.6 percent, more than double the rate of return set by the PERA board of trustees. I am a conservative investor but find this return an indication of good market trends in 2013 but also prudent and thoughtful management on behalf of PERA.
I am one voice of many. Our members, school employees, snowplow drivers, state troopers, court personnel, and all the public workers who make up PERA's membership, can rely on PERA for their retirement — whether they are about to retire or they just started service.
PERA has weathered the storm of the Great Recession, achieving strong investment returns that, in combination with reforms, make the fund sustainable.
PERA is an economic driver for the state, investing $500 million in Colorado companies, providing $3.76 billion in annual benefit payments, 213.4 million to Western region residents, and sustaining 26,000 jobs.
The magnitude of economic and fiscal impacts of PERA is significant. PERA retirees help stimulate the retail trade, health care, and public sector industries. PERA benefit distributions produce over $282 million annually in state and local tax revenue.
As you can see, I am passionate that Colorado PERA be applauded and appreciated for their efforts to provide retirement security to families. With new legislation in Colorado perhaps the private sector will be fortunate to have that same security in the future.
I thank you in advance for reading this email and hope you will support PERA as it evolves into a model pension plan.