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February 2014 Meeting at University of Colorado Boulder

Candice Bowen, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, addressed the group. Ms. Bowen said they are looking at how HR services are delivered to the campus community. They want to capitalize on the strengths of the HR group.

She also spoke about Employment engagement – helping employees feeling a connection to the campus. HR launched an employee engagement survey and had an 86% response rate. Work life balance, supervision, were some of the topics covered in the survey. Compensation, better training for supervisors, lack of career advancement are some of the concerns that were raised. One of the major concerns was child/elder care. CU Boulder now offers employees free access to a website that helps find child/elder care providers. This work life site also helps employees find various services like home services.

CU Boulder is also offering a program to help supervisors and others gain training in needed areas. It is not a mandatory program, but CU Boulder HR hopes that this will help supervisors/staff build better relationships. The program is designed for faculty, staff and exempt staff. CU Boulder also offers the following programs for staff:

  • Supervisors Roundtable
    • Leadership Development Programs
    • Tuition Reimbursement used for Graduate Program in Leadership/Management. Must be nominated into the program and offers opportunities for participants to meet with key leaders at the university, learn about various issues in higher education.

Other Items included member updates and a discussion on the use of Adobe Forms Central for registration for meetings. Committee work included drafting a letter of support to the JBC, outreach to other higher education intuitions and public relations, website communication and archiving, and discussion about the location of the July planning meeting.

PERA UPDATE Senate Bill 68 would have increased the retirement age to a rule of 95. PERA opposed this bill and it was defeated. Senate Bill 1 passed in 2010 has put PERA on the right path.

House Bill 1201 – new hires starting in 2015 will be calculated on the highest five years of salary. Sponsors of the bill are concerned about PERA’s sustainability. This is coming up in House Finance Committee in February. There is some interest by the Governor’s Office to study PERA. Talk about including PERA in the salary survey so the survey is more comprehensive. This bill is similar to a bill that was defeated a few years ago.

Defined Contribution vs. Defined Benefit – new hires may have to be in the defined contribution plan as opposed to the defined benefit plan. Defined contribution may work well for people who only plan to be with the system for a short period of time. This will allow them to invest their own money. For those who plan to stay longer, they may want to be in the defined benefit plan. Defined contribution caused problems for PERA because of unfunded liabilities for the Defined Contribution plan.

All state agencies pay same amount into PERA – 17.45%. Members pay 8%. This helps keep PERA sustainable and helps pay off the unfunded liabilities. PERA’s investment return is making a positive cash flow.

Elliott - Senators need to hear from their constituents. Need to get our message out to people. The legislature has the ability to change benefits.

PERA Ambassador Program - When people don’t understand something they are more likely to oppose it. Need to put a face to the people we represent. $300,000,000 gets sent out to PERA retirees. If you change PERA you hurt Colorado’s economy. PERA is a vital and stable contributor to various communities. Colorado is one of the first states in the nation to reform their pension program.

  • PERA is transparent. Received a 100% clean audit from KMG.
    • Annual reports to tell members how money is spent.

    • Finding new ways to get in touch with members (i.e., social media).

    • Will have trainings coming up along the I25 corridor. Looking for 1,000 people to sign up as PERA Ambassadors.

    The next meeting will be in July.