For many years County Officials attempted to have legislation enacted which would permit a retirement plan for county employees. In 1966 the Colorado State Legislature enacted a bill into law called “Retirement of County Officers and Employees.” The new law allowed counties to establish and maintain a statewide retirement association.
Twelve counties (Boulder, Eagle, Elbert, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Las Animas, Otero, San Juan, San Miguel, Summit and Teller) immediately formed the Colorado County Officials and Employees Retirement Association (CCOERA). The County Commissioners of each county appointed an official representative to the Association. The Association’s governing board was primarily responsible for drafting the Retirement Plan, which became effective July 1, 1968.
The purpose of forming a retirement association, was to allow several counties to pool their resources together in an effort to reduce the expenses associated with establishing and administering a retirement plan. Prior to the concept of a retirement association, many Colorado counties had difficulty maintaining retirement plans for their employees. Consequently, several Colorado counties terminated their plans, and others decided against providing retirement benefits to their employees after looking at the extraordinary expense involved with establishing a plan.
Shortly after the Association was formed, more counties joined the Association, and in 1969 the Colorado Statute was amended to extend retirement coverage to employees of Special Districts and in 1973 to employees of Municipalities.
In recent years the Colorado County Officials and Employees Retirement Association has grown rapidly. It now includes 52 of Colorado’s 64 counties, over 45 municipalities and more than 115 special districts. The Retirement Plan provides benefits for more than 19,600 participants.