Court upholds smaller increases for PERA retirees

The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld smaller annual increases for retired workers covered by the state’s pension system.

The court ruled Monday that changes to the cost-of-living increase formula for the Public Employment Retirement Association, or PERA, are constitutional, overturning an appellate court ruling.

The formula change was part of a bipartisan overhaul of the system in 2010.

PERA retirees used to get 3.5 percent annual increases. However under the law passed in 2010, retirees got no cost of living increase that year to save the state millions during recession. Future annual increases were also capped 2 percent.

The law also raised the retirement age to 60 and increased contributions for both employees and the government.

The system covers about 512,000 people, including state workers, teachers and local government employees.

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