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Colorado PERA: Changes to PERA Salary Calculations (2019)


WHEN THE TIME COMES FOR YOU TO RETIRE, COLORADO
PERA WILL BASE YOUR BENEFIT ON THREE FACTORS: AGE, YEARS OF SERVICE, AND THE SALARY YOU
RECEIVE WHILE WORKING. LEGISLATION PASSED IN 2018 CHANGES TWO ELEMENTS
RELATED TO THE SALARY USED IN THE BENEFIT CALCULATION THAT APPLIES TO THOSE WHO WERE
ALREADY PERA MEMBERS WHEN THE LEGISLATION WAS SIGNED INTO LAW. FIRST, IF YOU RECEIVE A PAYOUT OF UNUSED SICK
LEAVE AFTER JUNE 4, 2018, IT COULD BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF YOUR PERA-INCLUDABLE SALARY. THIS MEANS THE PAYOUT COULD BE USED IN CALCULATING
YOUR RETIREMENT BENEFIT AND YOU WILL LIKELY PAY PERA CONTRIBUTIONS ON THE PAYOUT AMOUNT. REMEMBER, YOUR EMPLOYER, NOT PERA, DETERMINES
THE AMOUNT OF YOUR SICK LEAVE ELIGIBLE FOR PAYOUT UPON RETIREMENT. SECOND, THE NUMBER OF YEARS OF SALARY USED
TO CALCULATE YOUR BENEFIT MAY BE CHANGING. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE FIVE YEARS OF PERA SERVICE
CREDIT ON JANUARY 1, 2020, WE’LL USE FIVE YEARS OF YOUR HIGHEST AVERAGE SALARY TO CALCULATE
YOUR BENEFIT. BUT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE
AS OF THAT DATE, PERA WILL CALCULATE YOUR BENEFIT BASED ON THREE YEARS OF HIGHEST AVERAGE
SALARY. BEFORE WE WRAP UP, THERE’S ONE ADDITIONAL
CHANGE TO MENTION THAT AFFECTS NEW MEMBERS HIRED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2019. FOR THESE NEW MEMBERS, PERA-INCLUDABLE SALARY
WILL INCLUDE SICK LEAVE PAYOUT AND ANY AMOUNT PUT INTO CAFETERIA OR QUALIFIED TRANSPORTATION
PLANS. THE SAME HOLDS TRUE THAT THIS AMOUNT WILL
BE INCLUDED TO CALCULATE YOUR HIGHEST AVERAGE SALARY, AND YOU’LL LIKELY PAY PERA CONTRIBUTIONS
ON IT. THESE CHANGES TO BENEFITS WERE NECESSARY TO
ENSURE THE LONG-TERM RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR PERA’S MEMBERSHIP. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER ASPECTS OF THIS
LEGISLATION, PLEASE SEE WWW.COPERA.ORG. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RETIREMENT BENEFITS
IS IN THE “MEMBERS” SECTION OF PERA’S WEBSITE. THANKS FOR WATCHING!

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