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Public Statements

Issue Position: PERA

Issue Position

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The Public Employees Retirement Association had a bad year in 2008. Their investment portfolio lost 26% of its value, many billions of dollars. Current projections show the state division going broke in 2029 unless something is done to turn things around, and the other divisions are just as dire. The Board of Directors of PERA was asked by the legislature to formulate a plan for that turnaround. Their "2-2-2 Plus" proposal increases contribution rates for employers and employees in future years, and caps Cost of Living Adjustments "COLAs," at 2%. The "Plus" portions have drawn the most comment, and include increases to minimum retirement ages and a 5-year highest average salary "HAS" calculation for everyone not yet eligible to draw benefits. I'm still studying the proposal and talking with public employees and retirees about its impacts. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee I'll be among the first in the legislature to be voting on the proposal -- something likely to be debated for months to come.


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