By Lynn Bartels, Denver Post News Writer
A lawsuit was file today over legislation that reduces pensions benefits for members of the Public Employees Retirement Association Posted February 26, 2010, 11:12 am
The suit charges that the new law, signed by the governor Tuesday, is unconstitutional because it impairs the retirees’ contractual rights to receive pension benefits at the levels promised them when they became eligible to retire or when they actually retired.
The bill, in part, reduces the cost-of-living increase for retirees from 3.5 percent to 2 percent annually, except for this year when there is no increase. The move is an effort to shore up the retirement fund, which has $30 billion in unfunded liabilities.
“Both the United States and Colorado Constitutions bar reductions in pension benefits once the right to those pension vests. And that is exactly what the legislature did here,” said Stephen M. Pincus, one of the attorneys for the retirees.
More than 400 governmental and public agencies in Colorado belong to PERA, including school districts and state government.
Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, co-sponsored the legislation.
“Our reform bill represents the first time a state has cut the benefits of current retirees, so litigation was always expected,” he said.
“But to the plaintiff’s, who I assume are well meaning folks, I would say this: If we don’t reduce these automatic pension increases, the entire fund is poised to go bankrupt. Think United. Think GM. That didn’t work out well for the company or the retirees. These reforms are tough but they’re necessary.”
On Feb 26, 2010, at 3:55 PM, Roni Bell wrote:
Wondered how long it'd take before this government would start nibbling away at PERA.
Yet another face of those who are murdering free enterprise, fair trade, American industry, freedoms and liberties, and stealing private property.
Why? Perhaps to feed their monstrous self-indulgent egos, get un-justly enriched, and pay back campaign contributors???
Really folks, that's what it all boils down to.
Sure, guests float through O'Reilly, Hannity, Huckabee, Beck, Stewart, Maher et al, hashing and re-hashing (Not just a Colorado thing.) whether to call "it" socialism, communism, fascism or Marxism, when the definition is the more straight forward anti-America!
Those whose private property has been taken by bureaucrats can describe to a tee, exactly what an anti-American looks like. Why not ask them? Sure would help U.S. Citizens know, so they can be on the look out and shield their loved ones.
Recently a friend told me they didn’t "agree with" my thoughts about this administration turning us into a socialistic society.
My response? "That's akin to telling those screwed over by Bernie Madoff that you don't "agree" with their thoughts on being screwed."