Changes in the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) starting in 2013 and 2014 will reveal the serious underfunded status of PERA in the state of Colorado. It will also lay the foundation of a potential battle between the beneficiaries of PERA and the taxpayers. Some economists have indicated that to fully fund PERA over a 30-year period may require up to 50 percent of the current payroll expenditures. It will further reveal the futility of the "Band-Aid" reform measures taken in the past.
Statements that PERA is "good for the taxpayers" stretches the multiplier theory to the point that even Mr. Keynes would blush. My intent is not to pick a fight with public employees, rather than to point out that serious reform is going to be a reality to keep this program from bankruptcy. Too often we in society are divided between political and ideological lines in public policy that we fail to see the real culprits; inept and corrupt politicians that make public policy. For an accurate status of PERA I would refer the readers to the Independence Institute policy paper authored by Barry Poulson in August 2012. You can access the Independence Institute at i2i.org.