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PERA to share financial situation via live webcast

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No question that the fiscal downturn in these United States has battered Colorado's Public Employees Retirement Association, or PERA -- and so have critics like the Denver Post's Vince Carroll, who's taken on the topic in column after column. As a result, plenty of folks who depend upon PERA are worrying themselves sick.

In an attempt to at least get such people accurate information, with no media filter, PERA is inviting members to log on to the organization's first-ever live webcast and watch tomorrow's 6 p.m. public hearing about the state of the agency. That way, folks unable to attend in person at the PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur Street, will have a better idea just how anxious they should be.

Get the details from a PERA press release after the jump.

Colorado PERA to Provide Live Webcast of Listening Tour

Hearing on Legislative Proposals

DENVER -- On Tuesday, August 11, Coloradans will be able to log on to a live webcast and view a public hearing to be held by the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) to discuss strategies to ensure the retirement plan's long-term sustainability.

The first-ever live webcast by PERA is designed for PERA members, retirees, legislators, and the public. It comes in response to strong interest in PERA's Listening Tours, which will be held in eight cities around Colorado this month.

Viewers can watch the webcast by visiting www.copera.org and following the link on the home page. The live webcast will run on August 11 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., providing a video stream of the hearing, which is being held at the PPA Event Center at 2105 Decatur Street in Denver. Seating is limited so the webcast provides a viable live alternative for interested parties.

Webcast viewers and other visitors to the PERA Web site at www.copera.org will be able to complete an online survey to share their views with PERA. That survey will be available during and after the live webcast. The webcast also will be available at www.copera.org for later viewing.

"PERA is soliciting input from its members, retirees, and others and conducting extensive financial analyses to help shape legislation it will propose for consideration in the 2010 session of the Colorado General Assembly," said PERA Executive Director Meredith Williams.

"That proposed legislation will be designed to address the impacts of the difficult economic conditions in a comprehensive and long-term manner. The goal is to create a fair and reasonable proposal for public employees, retirees, and citizens of Colorado," Williams added.

"Although we're hosting a total of eight Listening Tour hearings around Colorado this month, the webcast will provide one more way to participate," Williams said.

In November, PERA's Board of Trustees directed staff to review all alternatives to improve PERA's financial health. Since then, the staff and Board have worked intensely to gather extensive data and conduct complex analyses so the Board will have the information needed to make well-considered decisions moving forward.

"We take our fiduciary duty to protect the best interests of PERA's beneficiaries very seriously," said Williams. "We need to hear from them directly to present alternatives and understand which options they would like us to consider."

PERA was founded in 1931. PERA now has about 430,000 members and retirees and provides retirement and other benefits to employees of over 400 public employers in the state.

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