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Fate of Colorado PERA COLA lawsuit?
Old 02-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Fate of Colorado PERA COLA lawsuit?

I can't seem to llocate any recent updates on this through usual web searches, and I thought someone here might be well-informed.

While I am not a Colorado resident, I am aware that SB 1 passed in 2010, and that it had a significant effect on state employees in that it modified the COLA adjustments for current retirees. It's my understanding that a lawsuit was filed shortly after that bill was signed into law by the governor.

The fate of this bill has ramifications for other states and employees, of course, as it could set a precedent.

Does anyone know what, if anything, has happened with the challenge to that bill?
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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The group that brought the lawsuit has a website:

Save PERA COLA

You could also Google "Justus et al. v State of Colorado and PERA".
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the pointer. I had found the main website, but hadn't taken the time to look closely at the individual posts and replies. Looks like they think it won't go to court until a year from now. Hmmmm...
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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I am a Colorado PERA recipient. I get pretty frequent updates on the "progress". Basically, it looks like it will be years before anything happens. Both sides still maintain that they have the law on their side. PERA has budgeted a large sum of money to fight the lawsuit. The retirees have asked for donations to pay for their expenses. If the amount of money each side has available is any indication of the potential outcome, it is definitely favoring PERA. I personally made changes to my budget plans based on the current state of affairs and if in the years to come something changes, I will adjust.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredncolorado View Post
I am a Colorado PERA recipient. I get pretty frequent updates on the "progress". Basically, it looks like it will be years before anything happens. Both sides still maintain that they have the law on their side. PERA has budgeted a large sum of money to fight the lawsuit. The retirees have asked for donations to pay for their expenses. If the amount of money each side has available is any indication of the potential outcome, it is definitely favoring PERA. I personally made changes to my budget plans based on the current state of affairs and if in the years to come something changes, I will adjust.
Thank you for the update, it's good to hear from someone who has a "close-up" view of the situation. When you say that the retirees have asked for donations to pay for their expenses, does that mean that pension/COLA cuts are already in effect such that your benefits are currently reduced and will be so until the whole issue gets settled in the court? If so, I'm sorry to hear that and I wish for the best outcome for Colorado retirees. I hope that they are not concurrently going after any health benefits you may be entitled to. That would be the double punch.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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The changes went into effect immediately. PERA believes that increases in future benefits can be changed, even though these changes were promised for years. So, the current amount of benefits including health care and monthly benefits remains the same. PERA believes that any increase in future benefits, like our annual contractual increase can be changed at any time. So, for right now we can count on our current benefits remaining the same while future increases can change. Of course, the biggest concern is, what is next?
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredncolorado View Post
The changes went into effect immediately. PERA believes that increases in future benefits can be changed, even though these changes were promised for years. So, the current amount of benefits including health care and monthly benefits remains the same. PERA believes that any increase in future benefits, like our annual contractual increase can be changed at any time. So, for right now we can count on our current benefits remaining the same while future increases can change. Of course, the biggest concern is, what is next?
I'm speechless. The Rocky Mountain bait-and-switch. And here I always thought Colorado was the progressive state amongst the near west.

My best wishes for a positive outcome to this for you and your fellow retirees. I'm expecting this drama to be played out in state after state, and in my own I know that I would never recommend that any young person ever consider state employment. Fool me once...
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