February 13, 2014

PERA shines light on its benefits with March workshops

Does your retirement plan offer you the proposition of guaranteed income for your full, post-work life? Is it backed by supplemental savings plans? Does it have built-in disability, medical, dental and vision coverage?

If you’re a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, you can count on it.

The only problem: Not many members of PERA—a monthly, life-long pension program open to certain employees and managed by the state of Colorado—know they have access to these and other benefits, says Gordon Steuck, the University of Colorado’s PERA field education officer. This March, he hopes to enlighten CU’s PERA members through a set of workshops and accompanying information tables, March 4-27, on all CU campuses.

The workshops share a common message: The sooner that members understand how PERA can help them secure a happy, healthy retirement, the better prepared they are to make decisions about retirement, regardless of how far along they are in their careers. For that reason, the first three workshops in the series will offer valuable information for all audiences.

The workshops

The “PERA Fundamentals Workshop” is a PERA basics crash course for members in any stage of their career.
Among the knowledge participants will gain:

  • how their monthly benefits are calculated
  • the value of bolstering their retirement funds by contributing to PERA's 401(k) and 457 savings plans
  • how to purchase service credit for gaps in their PERA membership
  • built-in benefits such as disability coverage (after five years of service) and survivor coverage (after one year of service)
  • the estimated value of monthly pensions
  • a post-retirement benefit that provides members with medical, dental and vision coverage

The “Purchasing Service Credit” session offers an in-depth review of what service credits are, their relationship to your pension, eligibility requirements and other information to aid members in deciding whether or not to purchase them.

The “401(k) and 457 Plan Options” session is for any employee (not just PERA participants) looking for additional retirement savings vehicles. Additionally, if you routinely max out on your 403(b) contributions and are still looking to contribute more to your retirement, then this session is for you.

Steuck encourages CU PERA members to join him and his team for these workshops, and the post-event discussions and information sharing. For those who can’t make it, don’t worry; PERA periodically will be visiting each CU campus. Also, check theEmployee Services events calendar for PERA campus visits.

Workshop times and locations

PERA will host workshops from noon to 1 p.m., and will be on hand from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-2 p.m. to answer questions and provide more information about its benefits:

PERA Fundamentals workshops
  • Tuesday, March 4—CU Denver, West Classroom 235
  • Wednesday, March 5—CU-Boulder, University Memorial Center, Room 353
  • Thursday, March 6—CU Anschutz, Research 1, P18-Multi-Purpose Labs, Room 1409
  • Thursday, March 13—CU Colorado Springs, University Center Theater, Room 302
PERA Purchasing Service Credit workshops
  • Wednesday, March 19 – CU Colorado Springs, University Center Theater, Room 302
  • Thursday, March 20 – CU-Boulder, University Memorial Center, rooms 415-417
  • Thursday, March 27 – CU Denver, North Classroom, Room 1325
PERA’s 401(k) and 457 Plan Options workshop
  • Wednesday, March 12 – CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health M24-conference rooms 304/305

Cost: Free