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Instead of paying into Social Security, St. Vrain employees participate in the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) defined benefit pension fund. You contribute a mandatory 10.5% of your monthly gross salary into PERA.  The district contributes an amount equivalent to 20.9% of your gross salary to help fund the PERA system. You are not directly entitled to these contributions, but they do indirectly benefit you by helping to fund retirement payments for current and future PERA retirees. After working five years under PERA covered employment, you become vested in the pension plan and are eligible to receive retirement payments once you reach retirement age. For additional information, check out this video or contact PERA at 800.759.7372 or online at


Because your PERA Pension retirement income may not be enough to meet your retirement income needs, you are also encouraged to participate in the optional PERAPlus 401(k) and/or 457(b) plans. These plans allow you to save additional amounts up to the IRS elective deferral limit on a pre-tax basis (plus catch up contributions if you are age 50 or older) to invest and save for retirement. PERA also offers a Roth option that allows you to contribute on an after-tax basis. Earnings and qualified distributions are not taxed, upon withdrawal from the Roth option. For more information, please contact PERA at 800.759.7372 or online at