Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General John Suthers have filed a lawsuit in a Denver state district court to obtain beneficiary information from the board that oversees the pension fund for state workers.

Stapleton asked the Public Employees Retirement Association in June to provide data on the benefits paid to the top 20% of retirees and how those benefits had been earned.

He said he wanted information on the annual payments, how much the retirees earned in their last five years with the state, their job title, their retirement age, and current ZIP code. The PERA board voted in August to not provide the information to Stapleton, saying it would be a violation of state law and a breach of fiduciary trust.

Stapleton said the information is needed to determine the fiscal health of the Colorado retirement system, which has a $21 billion unfunded liability.

Filing the lawsuit, he said, was “the absolute last resort.”

“It is my objective, while serving on PERA’s board, to act as a responsible board member and gather as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions to help keep PERA solvent for current and future retirees,” Stapleton said.

PERA said the system has 94,000 retirees, with 575 of them receiving state pensions between $100,000 and $200,000.

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