About The Data

Data Source —

These data were extracted from actuarial valuation reports prepared by Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) and its consulting actuaries. These documents are available to the public on the PERA website, along with comprehensive annual financial reports. PERA’s annual reports provide schedules of gains and losses in accrued liabilities for each year. These data catalog the different factors that added to or subtracted from the defined benefit pension’s unfunded actuarial accrued liability.

Among the given categories are experience gains and losses, which describe the added/subtracted unfunded liabilities that resulted from actual experience differing from major assumptions (rates of investment income, disability retirements, deaths, withdrawals, pay increases, new membership, etc.). Some of these schedules were grouped together into more simply defined categories for the purposes of this visualization.

The gain/loss schedules show how changes to the plan’s assumptions and provisions (i.e. benefit changes) increased or decreased the reported amount of the unfunded liability each year. This section is also the source of data that displays how much underpaying annual contributions and annual interest on debt (stated as “Expected change in UAAL) have added to the plan’s unfunded liability each year.

Data for the history of the unfunded liability also come from the actuarial valuation reports and comprehensive annual financial reports.

Any questions regarding this data set should be reported to Zachary Christensen, policy analyst for the Pension Integrity Project: Ask a Question

About Us —

This project was a collaboration of Pension Integrity Project staff Anthony Randazzo, Marc Joffe, and Zachary Christensen.

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