PERA's plan of action raises doubts

PERA's hat-in-hand shtick is becoming tiresome. Yes, of course we need to fix the funding shortfall. And many, if not all, of PERA's recommendations might constitute a prudent course of action.

What troubles me is that the remedies are built largely on the backs of workers whose trust in the system continues to be shaken. When the next market calamity hits, will PERA simply ratchet up its income and reduce benefits by legislation? An average annual gain of 8 percent is entirely mysterious without more light shining on its investment assumptions, objectives and plan — clearly they missed their prior target by a mile.

PERA is starting to sound less like a retirement plan and more like a crapshoot. The market can always be the whipping boy while PERA workers endure the pain.

Barry Northrop
Accounting and Business Support
University of Colorado at Boulder