I am a retired public employee. I invested six years to earn two college degrees because advanced education was necessary for me to do my job.
I saved 16 percent of my meager salary for 30-plus years and the investment team at Colorado PERA successfully managed my and many other Colorado public employees' retirement money. Now, public employees and our retirement programs are being attacked by investment firms, banks, so-called think tanks, and politicians nationwide.
I am told public employees are a burden to the taxpayer (as if I am not a taxpayer myself) and our retirement plans are the cause of the country's economic hardships. From my perspective, I was in a never-ending struggle to do my job, while at the same time managing numerous fundraisers for the programs I was being asked to lead.
Teachers, corrections officers, state troopers and other public employees are being told that we need to change our successful plans to plans with individual retirement accounts. Don't be fooled into believing that this approach saves taxpayers money. It does not. For more than 80 years, the not-for-profit PERA investment team in Denver has prudently invested for the retirements of one-half million Coloradans.
PERA is one of Colorado's best investments, returning Colorado dollars to the Colorado economy many times over. PERA retirement payments ultimately support local businesses, generate tax dollars, and ensure that Colorado's public employees are secure in retirement and able to avoid burdening our already strained social safety net. I would like to see the day when all Coloradans have an opportunity to invest in a plan like PERA.
Retired public employee