Latest developments don't boost confidence in PERA

E. Jill Pollock's e-memo of April 23 was both welcome and unwelcome news. I have been trying unsuccessfully for weeks to get something official about SB 10-146 from the university. My inquiry to Payroll & Benefit Services went unanswered, and finally hearing something from Vice President Pollock, while welcome, was too long in coming.

The example given in the memo does not apply to me. I will feel the full 2.5 percent impact in my take-home pay, so the attempt to soften the blow falls short. Additionally, the memo's statement that "The benefit does not change as a result of a good or bad economy" is not true for me because I plan to retire with reduced benefits to the tune of a 12.5 percent hit — the direct result of a bad economy. Or more precisely, the result of a bad choice of investments made by PERA.

The official communication we have received does not fully address the real world nor does it explain how this bill sneaked its way under our noses. Doesn't the university have a legislative liaison? Who was paying attention and when were we to be informed? I first heard about it by word of mouth in my department more than three weeks before the release of the memo.

My personal investments are back up where they were before the market meltdown. Meanwhile, PERA is deep underwater and grabbing me down along with it. I have very little confidence in my future PERA retirement and both PERA and the state have proven that they can reach into our pockets and change the rules anytime things don't go their way.

Barry Northrop
Accounting and Business Support
University of Colorado at Boulder

Editor's note: CU's Office of Government Relations maintains a directory of reports on current legislation affecting the university system. It's accessible at http://www.cu.edu/governmentrelations.