Every year, Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) releases their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and every year their returns continue to fall short of the assumed investment rate of return. This spells big problems for taxpayers who will be on the hook for that shortfall when large numbers of state employees want to collect their pensions.
Adding insult to injury, it’s almost like PERA CEO Greg Smith is just hoping that people will stop noticing and/or caring that the fund is constantly underperforming and continues to reward him with lavish pay raises. If it weren’t for state Treasurer Walker Stapleton this financial crisis facing our state budge might very likely have been swept under the rug. But Stapleton has not given up his charge to bring more transparency to the way PERA is run and force PERA officials and other elected leaders to take a hard, honest look at how Colorado’s pension system is run.
In a recent press release, Stapleton states:
“This whole situation is unfortunate for every PERA member and taxpayer in Colorado. PERA and Greg Smith are doing PERA members a huge disservice by not addressing the underlying structural problems in this plan. This is not a partisan problem, this is a giant math problem. Greg Smith seems more interested in public relations tours, pay raises and kicking-the-can down the road rather than taking a sober minded view and responsibly managing the pension system.”
Stapleton’s harsh words for PERA’s chief executive are not undeserved. If he worked for a private business, Smith would have probably been fired by now. Only in government can you repeatedly fail yet still get a raise.