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COLORADO RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION
Committed to serving all Colorado local government employees
CRA HOLIDAY NOTICE
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Who’s in the photo: Sgt. Marco Montez & Kent Almond, Mesa County

Empowering Government Employees with a Better Plan

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One-on-One
Individual Retirement Counseling

We are with you every step of the way to answer questions, review your plan and provide resources so you can best prepare for retirement.

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Auto-Piloting vs. Mastering Your Own
Best-in-Class Investment Options

Guided by Innovest Portfolio Solutions, a Denver-based registered investment advisory firm, we provide a comprehensive portfolio of high-performing investment funds available to plan participants.

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Competitive Fees
No Surprises

As a not-for-profit organization, CRA’s focus is on helping our members save and invest for the future. Plan participants enjoy minimal administration fees for comprehensive plan management services. And you don’t have to worry about hidden fees – we’re fully transparent about our costs.

What People Say about CRA

From my experience, they’ve always been very customer-service driven. Any time I’ve had issues with them or concerns for employees, I’ve been able to visit with staff there and always received excellent guidance on what needed to happen. I have always been really pleased with the way that they make a habit of coming and visiting us.

Beth Spady

Kiowa County Hospital District

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Customer-Service Driven

One of their biggest assets is the availability of fund choices. They provide a lot of tools and a lot of information. I appreciate the fact that I can move my stuff around and move within the risk factors that are there. I don’t ever run into any limitations on my flexibility. I think that’s pretty important.

Mike Krening​

Morgan County

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Fund Choices and Resources

I like how easy it is to go online on the employer side and make changes. I like the ease of that.

And honestly, their service has been very good. When I email them they answer me right back. I’m sure we’re one of their smaller accounts but it doesn’t feel like it so that is very nice.

Cindy Tompkins

Town of Calhan

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Flexible Services

END HOME PAGE
BEGIN PARTICIPANTS PAGE

Participants

CRA is more than your Plan Administrator,
We’re your Retirement Partner.

Individuals who regularly seek investment guidance
generate 61% more income in retirement than those who do not.

-Empower Institute, Retirement Progress Score 2020

CRA is here to provide that guidance

Schedule a Retirement Review

Welcome!
We have good news for you. You’re in the right place.

Hopefully, you are a CRA Participant and you’re either saving for a long, comfortable retirement or already enjoying one. If you’re not with CRA, don’t leave! Many of the resources we provide may help you plan for your post-career life.

As a non-profit association and fiduciary, we are dedicated to making decisions in YOUR best interest. This means providing cost-effective investment options, savings and budgeting resources, and most importantly, personalized retirement counseling & education.

Explore our online information linked below or email us at contactus@cra-online.org to set up a one-on-one retirement planning session with your Client Services Manager.

FIND MY
CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER RETIREMENT COUNSELOR NEW BEST FRIEND

Find My Client Services Manager

Find your Client Services Manager (CSM) by searching for your employer (or former employer) in the box below.
Click on the “Book a Meeting” link to see their availability and reserve a time on their calendar.
If you can’t find your CSM, please email contactus@cra-online.org for assistance.

END PARTICIPANTS PAGE
BEGIN PARTICIPANT RESOURCES PAGE

PARTICIPANT RESOURCES

At CRA, we are dedicated not only to serving your retirement investment needs but to providing you with all of the tools to prepare for a long comfortable retirement. This page is loaded with useful information, documents, and insights.

We’re always expanding our library of resources to meet the needs of our participants. So, if you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you’re probably not alone. Please use the contact form to let us know what you need. A member of our staff will reach out to help you directly and we will work to provide a new item to this page. 

Market Summary: August 2023

Economic Developments & Market Update & Market Update Economic Developments The S&P 500 Index declined 1.59% in August, bringing its total year-to-date (YTD) return to 18.73%. While negative for the month,

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Retirement Planner

Determine if your savings are on track for retirement. If not, estimate how much you may need to save each year to reach your goal.

Growing Your Investment

Estimate how much money you may earn from your investments over time, based on the amount of money you invest and the expected rate of return.

Withdrawals in Retirement

Understand the impact that annual withdrawals may have on your retirement account so you can estimate how many years your savings may last.

Required Minimum Distributions

Understand when you will be required to begin withdrawing from your retirement savings and how much you will need to withdraw each year.

Monthly Budget

Explore your monthly fixed and flexible expenses and identify areas for additional saving.

Paying Debt vs. Investing

Should you use your extra money to pay down debt or put into an investment? Generally, it’s advisable to invest only if the return on investment would exceed your cost of debt. Explore how your rate of return could compare to your cost of debt, taking taxes into account.

FAQ

What Can We Help You With?

Get answers to frequently asked questions.

PARTICIPANT ACCOUNT QUESTIONS:

You can easily check your balance by logging into your account.

You will see your total CRA retirement savings account balance on the account dashboard, and you can click on Account to see the specific saving amount in your 401(a) and, if applicable, 457(b) account.

On the account portal, you also can review your plan’s rate-of-return, transaction history, statements, beneficiaries, investments, loan and withdrawal history and forms to make changes to your account.

Alternatively, you can call 800.352.0313 during standard business hours to check your balance, or review your quarterly statement.

Forms for withdrawals can be accessed through your account under the Accounts tab, then Plan Forms, or by calling 800.352.0313. There are a variety of forms for different types of withdrawals, or distributions, depending on those that are allowed in your plan.

Although you never have to close your CRA account in order to continue enjoying the benefits of our services and support, you are eligible to receive a distribution from the retirement plan upon any of the following events:

  • Retirement
  • Termination of employment, at any age, for any reason
  • Death (payable to your beneficiary)

Be aware that distributions may be subject to standard income taxation and/or early withdrawal penalties. In addition to losing tax-deferred benefits by withdrawing money from your account, you will be losing out on compounding interest that otherwise would position your money to grow with you and be available when you retire.

Some employers have elected to set up a loan program through their CRA retirement plans. Please contact your employer to determine whether they offer loans through the CRA retirement plan. Loans should be reserved only for circumstances of extreme financial need.

You may leave your CRA accounts intact when you terminate employment or retire. You will continue to have the ability to manage the money in your account, access personalized retirement counseling and all CRA features and services. Leaving your CRA account active may be more cost-effective and advantageous than moving your money elsewhere when you change jobs or retire.

We charge an annual account administration fee of $28 or 0.25% of a participant’s combined account balances (whichever is greater). This administration fee is capped for accounts with a balance exceeding $400,000, combined across 401(a) and, if applicable, 457(b) accounts. 

This is the only fee we charge to cover our annual budget and is highly competitive in this industry. And there’s no hidden fees – we’re up front and transparent about our costs.

No. Mutual fund rates of return are always net of their operating expenses. With CRA’s size and purchasing power, our institutional-class funds have some of the lowest expense rates in the industry.

RETIREMENT PLAN QUESTIONS:

These plans differ in terms of participation, contributions and financial risks.

Defined contribution (DC) retirement plan – e.g., 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), etc.

A defined amount is contributed into an individual retirement account each period.

  • Participation: Differs according to IRS regulations; 401(a) plans are only available to public-sector employees and may be mandatory for eligible employees.
  • Contribution: Employees make contributions. Often employers also make contributions, which typically follow a vesting schedule for payouts. Contributions are typically tax-deferred.
  • Financial risks: The long-term earnings depend on the rate of contributions as well as the performance of selected investment funds, minus administrative fees. The employee retains full control over their retirement savings. The retirement funds are placed in the name of the employee, not the employer. The employee may withdraw earnings upon retirement or changing employers.

Defined benefit (DB) retirement plan, or “pension plan” – e.g., Colorado PERA, FPPA, etc.

Plan defines retirement or other benefit based on certain conditions and formulas. Commonly referred to as a pension.

  • Participation: Available to employees if an employer sponsors the plan, which can include public- or private-sector employees.
  • Contribution: Employers make contributions. Some plans may also require or allow contributions from employees. Contributions are typically tax-deferred and cannot exceed certain limits set by law. The employee receives payment upon fulfilling the requirements of the plan, such as completing several years of service.
  • Financial risks: DB plans place the financial risk on the employer. If inadequate investment performance or longer payouts exhaust the pension fund, an employer will still be responsible for covering funding gaps. The employee receives payment upon fulfilling the requirements of the plan, such as completing several years of service.

Deferred compensation retirement plan – e.g., 457(b) and some 401(k), 403(b) and pension plans, etc.

Agreed-upon compensation is set aside and paid at a later date.

  • Participation: Available to public- or private-sector employees depending on the plan. Can be available to select employees within an organization and not to others.
  • Contribution: Employees and/or employers may contribute to the plan. Contributions may be pre- or after-tax depending on the plan guidelines. The amount of contributions that can be set aside toward some plans, such as the 457(b), are limited by IRS regulations.
  • Financial Risks: The employee carries the risk and long-term earnings depend on the rate of contributions as well as the performance of selected investment funds, minus administrative fees.

They are very similar by design. Generally, you will only find 401(k) plans in the private sector because governmental entities are no longer eligible for 401(k) plans. Likewise, 401(a) plans are only available to public-sector employees.

The 401(k) plan often offers discretionary participation, rather than mandatory participation, and there are other differences regarding contributions, distributions, etc.

The benefits of putting all of your retirement savings in one place include:

  • Potential savings – Compare our competitive rates to the fees that your other retirement plan providers charge
  • Simplicity – Manage all of your accounts in one place
  • Clarity – Get a more complete view of your retirement income statement

All of the money invested in your CRA retirement savings account continues to grow while also being tax-deferred and sheltered from current income tax. Additionally, you can continue to access CRA’s unparalleled support and services, including flexible investment options and professional retirement counseling.

A person’s plans to spend their retirement years will vary widely based upon their age, health, ambitions and available resources to fund retirement. Besides creating a budget for retirement, you need to consider how you will use additional retirement benefits provided by the federal government, such as Social Security and Medicare.

Most people still think of 65 as the approximate age that they plan to retire, but that may mean you could be living off of retirement savings, Social Security and other retiree benefits for multiple decades.

Although retirement benefits are a significant portion of the Social Security program, benefits received from Social Security were never intended to fund a person’s entire retirement. Often, Social Security benefits represent less than half of a retired person’s income. Additionally, while some healthcare costs might be offset by Medicare, you may still be paying a monthly premium for certain services such as physician services, medical supplies and prescription drugs.

Generally, the rule of thumb for retirement savings is to accumulate enough to replace 70%-80% of your working annual income, including Social Security. Naturally, that percentage will vary depending on how comfortably you want to live. As retirement nears, it’s a good idea to calculate a more specific estimate of your retirement budget.

If you’ve got several years before you retire and are uncertain what percentage of your current income should go toward retirement savings, most experts today recommend striving toward saving 15%-20% of your income now to put toward future retirement income.

Explore retirement plans by different career stages

You may leave your CRA accounts intact when you terminate employment or retire. You will continue to have the ability to manage the money in your account, access personalized retirement counseling and all CRA features and services. Leaving your CRA account active may be more cost-effective and advantageous than moving your money elsewhere when you change jobs or retire.

You have several choices for your savings when you retire. Once you retire, you can access your money when you need it through a variety of distribution options, such as when you need it or on a periodic schedule. Be aware, however that whatever you withdraw from your account will no longer be tax-deferred or grow through compound earnings. You do not need to close your CRA account when you retire.

Many CRA employee participants choose to choose to take distributions over time to spread the tax consequence over several years. You should speak to a tax advisor to determine the best withdrawal method for you.

The voluntary 457(b) deferred compensation plan is not subject to the early withdrawal penalty, regardless of your age at the time of distribution. Remember though, a distribution from a deferred compensation plan may be subject to income tax assessment.

To withdraw a portion of your CRA plan, complete a Separation from Employment Withdrawal Request form, which can be accessed through the account portal or by calling 800.352.0313.

Additionally or alternatively, you might choose an annuity product to create a guaranteed lifetime income stream. We encourage you to speak with a range of lifetime income providers to discuss your annuity options; one you can contact is Hueler Investment Solutions at incomesolutions.com or by calling 866.297.9835.

Distribution Strategies

TAX QUESTIONS:

The amount of taxes that you will owe when you make a withdrawal will depend on your personal tax situation. 

Withdrawals from your CRA retirement accounts are considered “normal income” for that tax year. The amount of taxes that we are required to withhold from your distribution will vary depending on the type of distribution and the distribution reason. They may be subject to 20% IRS tax withholding. On top of that, distributions may be subject to 10% withdrawal penalties (on the full amount, not the 80% you actually received!) when you file taxes for anyone younger than 59½.

Consult a tax professional for tax advice and considerations.

STATEMENT QUESTIONS:

Participant account statements are issued quarterly, either by email or mail. If you have not received your quarterly statement, or if you would like to update your communication preferences, log into the account portal and click on your name. You also may call 800.352.0313.

“Future contribution allocation” refers to the investment of contributions not yet received. This section shows what percentage of each future (new) contribution will be invested in each option.

“Current investment allocation” refers to the allocation of the money already invested in your account. The figures show how much of your total account value was invested in each option on the last day of the statement report period.

INVESTMENT QUESTIONS:

Investments can be viewed and managed through your account portal. Click on the Account tab to view your investments, investment lineup and individual fund performance, values, trends and research, in addition to being able change your investments.

The changes you can make with your investments include:

  • Rebalancing – A common investment strategy that takes advantage of market growth to re-invest your gains
  • Change how future contributions will be invested (AKA change your allocation) – Change investments for your new contributions, without changing where your existing balance is invested
  • Change how your current balance will be invested (AKA fund-to-fund transfer) – Change how your existing balance is invested, without changing where your new contributions are invested 
  • Dollar-cost averaging – A common investment strategy that allows an investor to build retirement savings while reducing the impact of volatility

Changes can be made daily, as often as the New York Stock Exchange is open. CRA maintains a daily valuation record-keeping system that provides for daily investment transactions.

Financial Terms Glossary

Forms & Policy Documents

How to Run Most Popular Reports

You can follow the steps below to run the most popular reports:

Login to your PSC account
On the left navigation menu, choose Reports > Standard Reports
You will see several tabs (categories) of plan reports. The tab “Most Frequently Used” tab contains the most popular reports used by plan sponsors

Read More »

How to Read Your Quarterly Account Statement

It’s important to become familiar with your quarterly statement and how it pertains to your retirement account activity. A better understanding of your account activity may help you take a more active role in achieving your financial goals for a comfortable retirement.

Read More »

How to Enter Termination Dates for Plan Participants

Login to your PSC account
Enter the participant’s Social Security number into the search field.

Click on the Employee Detail tab.

Under Employment Information, click on Edit.

Input the employee’s term date in the Term Date field. All other fields should remain unchanged.

Click Save.

Read More »

How to Enroll in Paperless Statements

To update your preferences and enroll in paperless statements, log into the account portal, click on your name and update your communication preferences.

There are several benefits of going paperless:

Read More »

How To Access Your Online Account

Follow the four steps to access your online account: Click the Employee Login button on cra-online.org;
Click Login Help to create an account;
Enter the verification code sent to your device;
You’re in!

Read More »

How to Access the PSC

To request a Plan Service Center, or PSC, account:
1. Submit a Client Contact Change Form and submit it to your CRA client services manager
2. The plan sponsor must designate the level of PSC access for the user
3. The identified users will receive an email notification when their PSC authorization request has been completed. They also will begin receiving important employer member information, updates and resources
4. Follow the email instructions to create a login and access the PSC

Read More »

END PARTICIPANT RESOURCES PAGE
BEGIN RETIREMENT TIMELINE PAGE

The most common question we get from employee participants is how much to save for retirement and whether their savings are on the right track. 

In this section, we offer resources and actionable steps to help you understand your retirement planning and enable you to manage your earnings. Wherever you are in your career, you will find answers to your top questions and tips to help make smart and meaningful plans and decisions. 

More Investment Resources Delivered to Your Inbox.

Join our e-Newsletter to receive the latest insights and resources regarding financial wellness and retirement planning.

END RETIREMENT TIMELINE PAGE
BEGIN PARTICIPANT PLAN INFO PAGE

PARTICIPANT PLAN INFORMATION

Retirement Plans for
Colorado Local Government Employees

Colorado Retirement Association believes retirement plans should put employees and their retirement goals first. CRA retirement plans are designed exclusively for employees of Colorado counties, municipalities, and special districts.

As a CRA Plan Participant you may have one or both types of retirement plans offered through our organization. These plans are the 401(a) government employee retirement plan and the 457(b) deferred compensation plan. To learn more about the unique aspects of these plans, review the information below. If you have any questions or would like to make changes to your current plans, contact a CRA Retirement Counselor for assistance.

401(a)

Our CRA 401(a) plan, previously known as the CCOERA 401(a) plan, is a unique retirement plan especially designed to help employees of Colorado local governing bodies reward themselves for their years of service and enjoy their retirement.

457(b)

The 457(b) plan is voluntary. You can choose to start, stop, increase or decrease contributions at any time. Since investing experts today recommend putting between 15% and 20% of current income toward retirement, the 457(b) plan enables employees to augment the savings they are putting toward retirement beyond their 401(a) plan.

Although some 457(b) plans offer an after-tax option, most are pre-tax. With a pre-tax 457(b) plan, by deferring payment of a portion of your current compensation, you’ll pay taxes on this income at a later date – presumably in retirement, when you may be in a lower tax bracket. Conversely, most people will be in the highest income tax bracket during their peak earning years.

KEY FEATURES

Both employer and employee contributions are mandatory to ensure consistent savings and help you realize your retirement goals. The details regarding the employer contribution amount and requirements for employees to participate are specified in each employer member’s participant agreement.

The contribution amount is set for an employee’s 401(a) plan by the employer.

Once set, that amount does not change for the duration of that employee’s employment, or until the member employer adopts a new participation agreement with new elections.

Some member employers allow employees to choose the employee contribution amount within specific limits. In that case, if an employee does not actively choose a contribution amount, the employer will automatically deduct a specified amount (typically a percentage of compensation) from the employee’s paycheck toward the 401(a) plan, and that amount will not change until the aforementioned criteria is met.

With the CRA 401(a) plan, your employer contributes toward your retirement savings in addition to the contributions that are automatically deducted from your paycheck.

Most employer members offer a vesting schedule to encourage employees to build tenure within their organization.

If an employee leaves the organization before they are fully “vested” (typically five years), a percentage of the employer contributions into their CRA account is forfeited – unless the employee begins employment at another CRA member employer within 30 days of leaving the prior member employer.

All employer contributions and investment gains are tax-deferred, and most employee contributions are before-tax. Those contributions and their earnings are not taxed until money is withdrawn.

Eligibility to access your savings through a distribution begins once you retire or leave your employer. It also may be accessible for people with a disability, or to designated beneficiaries if an employee participant dies. Some employers also allow employees to take out a loan on their retirement account.

It’s important to know that you don’t ever have to close your CRA account – even after you retire. It’s advantageous to keep your CRA account so you can continue investing, postpone taxes assessed on those earnings and keep growing your savings through compound earnings.

However, no further contributions are permitted after you retire. We offer many flexible distribution options so you can choose how much you want to withdraw and when, while also allowing the remainder to remain secure and to continue growing for you.

You can rollover a range of other retirement income into your CRA account. Types of plans that you can move into your CRA account include: 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and most IRAs.

Click here to read about the benefits of putting all of your retirement savings in one place.

One-on-One Counseling
We’re not just Colorado-based, we’re Colorado-exclusive.

Our certified retirement counselors are dedicated to helping you reach your retirement goals. We offer one-on-one counseling meetings to answer questions about your retirement accounts and provide resources for smart financial management.

Flexible investing strategies
We recognize that while some might consider themselves to be knowledgeable investors, others might be less comfortable choosing investments.

That’s why we offer both automatically allocated “target date portfolios” as well as a wide range of individual funds to select.

Best-in-class investment funds
With a CRA 401(a) plan, you have access to a full portfolio of investment funds, all of which are institutional class and have been selected for their performance and rate of return by our Board of Directors with guidance from Innovest Portfolio Solutions, a Denver-based registered investment advisory firm.

Competitive fees
As a not-for-profit organization, CRA’s focus is on helping our members save and invest for the future. Our low-cost fiduciary service fees allow you to make the most of each contribution.

The 457(b) plan is completely voluntary. You can choose to participate at any time, and you can decide when you want to increase or decrease your contributions.

Participants can contribute up to 100% of their salary, provided it doesn’t exceed the IRS stated dollar limit for the year. Read the section below for more details about IRS contribution limits.

Employees are allowed to opt-in, opt-out, increase or decrease their 457(b) contributions at-will.

All employee participants are immediately 100% vested in their 457(b) plan.

Ability to reduce taxable income
You determine the amount you want to contribute. You can choose either a pre- or after-tax 457(b) plan, if your employer allows both options. If you choose the pre-tax plan, you will inherently reduce your current taxable compensation. In some cases, this might place your income in a lower tax bracket. You may want to consult with a tax advisor before making your decision.

Tax-deferred earnings
When you choose the pre-tax 457(b) plan, your earnings are reinvested and are not subject to taxes during this phase. You will be responsible for paying income taxes on your savings when you make a withdrawal.

Alternatively, if you choose the after-tax 457(b) plan, you will not pay tax penalties when you withdraw your earnings because you have chosen to contribute a portion of your current after-tax compensation toward your 457(b) plan.

Contribution credit
Eligible employee participants may be able to use the IRS Retirement Savings Contribution Credit, a tax credit based on retirement plan contributions designed to encourage low and middle-income taxpayers to save for retirement. The credit amount depends on your filing status and adjusted gross income and changes each year as set by the IRS.

Unlike other retirement plans such as 403(b) and 401(a) accounts, participants can withdraw from 457(b) plans without penalty, regardless of your age, provided you meet distribution eligibility requirements. Remember though, a distribution from a deferred compensation plan may be subject to income tax assessments.

Just like other retirement plans, you need to start taking distributions, called required minimum distributions, or RMDs, from your 457(b) plan by the age of 70½ if you are not still working at that time, although you do not have to liquidate the account at that time.

You can move other retirement plan savings into your 457(b) plan in order to maximize potential compound earnings, simplify your plan management and get a more complete picture of your total retirement savings.

IRS contribution limits
According to IRS requirements for 2021, “a 457(b) plan’s annual contributions and other additions (excluding earnings) to a participant’s account cannot exceed”:

  • $19,500 for participants under 50
  • $26,000 for participants age 50 and older (special catch-up limit: $39,000)

These limits apply for both the pre-tax and the after-tax 457(b) plans. If you split your contributions between the pre- and after-tax options, the amounts will be combined and must stay within the applicable annual limit.

Distribution and withdrawals
Unlike other retirement plans such as 403(b) and 401(a) accounts, participants can withdraw from 457(b) plans without penalty, regardless of your age, provided you meet distribution eligibility requirements. Remember though, a distribution from a deferred compensation plan may be subject to income tax assessments.
Just like other retirement plans, you need to start taking distributions, called required minimum distributions, or RMDs, from your 457(b) plan by the age of 70½ if you are not still working at that time, although you do not have to liquidate the account at that time.

Special provisions
Special Catch-Up Limits
For three years before the normal retirement age specified in your 457(b) plan, you may be eligible to contribute up to twice the annual limit. Or, you may be able to contribute the standard annual limit plus the amount of the standard limit not used in prior years (this is only allowed if you are not using age 50 or over catch-up contributions).

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit
The IRS Retirement Savings Contributions Credit provides a tax credit for voluntary contributions or elective deferrals to eligible retirement savings plans, such as the CRA 457(b) plan. The amount of the credit depends on your tax filing status and adjusted gross income. The amount of the tax credit can be determined by completing IRS Form 8880.
Consult your tax advisor for guidance on how these and other limits apply to your tax situation.

It’s YOUR retirement plan and YOU have the ability to design it however you like. CRA offers options for any level of investor.

For our hands-off participants who want their money invested wisely but don’t want to monitor it, CRA offers 12 Target Date Portfolios (TDPs). TDPs automatically re-allocate your investments as you get closer to your intended retirement date. This dynamic strategy allows your investments to be growth-focused at the beginning and middle of your career, then move towards savings preservation as you approach and enter retirement, without you having to make any changes yourself.

If you prefer to be more hands-on with your investments, CRA offers our participants 16 different funds to choose from. Create and manage your own portfolio to meet your savings goals and risk-tolerance.

If you fall on the ends of either side of the “Do It For Me” or “Do It Myself” spectrum and want a little more service or flexibility, check out our Additional Investment Services to find the right option for your ideal retirement plan.

Click the portfolio name to view fund details

Target Date PortfoliosAge Range (Expected Retirement Date)DOB Range
CRA Income TDP77 or older (2007 or before)< 1942
CRA 2010 TDP72-76 (2008-2012)1943-1947
CRA 2015 TDP67-71 (2013-2017)1948-1952
CRA 2020 TDP62-66 (2018-2022)1953-1957
CRA 2025 TDP57-61 (2023-2027)1958-1962
CRA 2030 TDP52-56 (2028-2032)1963-1967
CRA 2035 TDP47-51 (2033-2037)1968-1972
CRA 2040 TDP42-46 (2038-2042)1973-1977
CRA 2045 TDP37-41 (2043-2047)1978-1982
CRA 2050 TDP32-36 (2048-2052)1983-1987
CRA 2055 TDP27-31 (2053-2057)1988-1992
CRA 2060 TDP26 or younger (2058 or after)>1993

Click to view fund overview and/or prospectus

Fixed InvestmentsFund ClassTickerOverviewProspectus
Vanguard Fed. Money MarketMoney Market(VUSXX)
Book Value FundStable ValueN/AN/A
Metro West Total Return FundInvestment Grade Bonds(MWTSX)
PIMCO High Yield FundHigh Yield Bonds(PHIYX)
Equity (Stock) InvestmentsFund ClassTickerOverviewProspectus
Vanguard Institutional 500 IndexLarge-cap Blend/Index(VIIIX)
Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund InstLarge-cap Blend/Social(VFTNX)
Dodge & CoxLarge-cap Value(DODGX)
Harbor Capital Appreciation FundLarge-cap Growth(HNACX)
Fidelity ContrafundMulti-cap Blend/Growth(FLCNX)
American Beacon InternationalForeign Large Value(AAERX)
American Funds EuroPacificForeign Large Blend/Growth(RERGX)
Vanguard Mid-Cap Index FundMid-cap Blend/Index(VMCIX)
Fidelity Low-Priced FundMid-cap Blend(FLPSX)
Artisan Mid-Cap FundMid-cap Growth(APHMX)
Vanguard Small-Cap Index FundSmall-cap Blend/Index(VSCIX)
American Beacon Sm Cap ValueSmall-cap Value(AASRX)

Managed Accounts

For participants that prefer a  completely guided approach to investing:

Although our Target Date Portfolios are designed to offer a diverse and balanced mixture of investment options based on how close to retirement you are, some participants feel more comfortable knowing that their portfolio has been customized to match their investment preferences and level of risk tolerance.

For these participants, we offer Empower’s Advisory Services, “My Total Retirement™,” a professionally managed retirement strategy created just for you.

For fees based on a percentage of your assets under management, you gain ongoing access to investment advisor representatives. Even if you prefer to manage your own investments but would like some assistance, Online Advice, available through Empower Retirement Advisory Services, generates personalized saving and investing suggestions to help you make decisions based on information you provide about your situation and your goals.

There is no guarantee provided by any party that participation in any of the advisory services will result in a profit.

For complete information regarding My Total Retirement, review the information linked below and speak with your CRA Retirement Counselor.

Self-Directed Brokerage Option

For the most confident “Do-It-Myself” Participants:

The vast majority of CRA’s participants invest in either our Target Date Portfolios, Individually Allocated Portfolio Options, or a combination of both. However, some participants want access to additional investment options outside of the CRA Select menu.

For those participants, CRA offers a Self-Directed Brokerage option through Schwab PCRA.

This alternative provides participants access to most publicly traded mutual funds, and virtually any publicly-traded stock or bond, as well as additional investment vehicles. Participants may invest up to 90% of their account(s) assets through this option.

For complete information regarding the Self-Directed Brokerage Account, review the information linked below and speak with your CRA Retirement Counselor.

Forms & Policy Documents

END PARTICIPANT PLAN INFO PAGE
BEGIN EMPLOYER PAGE

Employers

CRA is more than your Plan Administrator,
We’re your Retirement Partner.

A majority of employees (53%) indicated that saving for retirement is the area
where they most want help from their employer.

-Willis Tower Watson, 2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

Considering Changes to Your Retirement Plan?

Schedule a Participant Agreement Review
As your Plan Administrator, CRA takes on most of the fiduciary liability that comes with retirement investing. However, you as the Member Employer are still required to perform some administrative actions and oversight on behalf of your employees. To assist you with these responsibilities, we have provided procedural guidelines and tutorials that you can access at anytime from the links below.

If you need further assistance or are a new
Entity Helper¹ ¹An Entity Helper is an employee with a CRA Member Employer who responsible for completing administrative work related to CRA,
such as submitting payroll contributions, entering employee termination dates, or coordinating benefits information & education, etc.
CRA is happy to help and even provide personalized training on our system,
just send us a message.

This section describes the fiduciary duties that you as an employer are still required to perform. 

  1. Promptly enroll eligible employees (be aware of your definition of full-time employee) into the plans by faxing the enrollment forms, including Division Name and Number, directly to Empower Retirement at 1-866-745-5766 prior to the first retirement contribution to CRA.  Do not enroll eligible employees “manually.”

  2. When enrolling new employees, inquire as to whether they have a prior CRA account.  If so, please forward enrollment forms directly to CRA at 303-713-9413 (Fax).

  3. If a newly hired employee came from another CRA Plan Employer within 30 days, that employee must typically be entered into your 401(a) plan immediately depending upon their previous full or part-time status.  Please call CRA for specific handling and setup at 720-493-6500.

  4. Please use CRA provided enrollment kits for the 401(a) & 457 Enrollment Applications, CRA Overview, Investment Options, Target Date Funds, Investment Results, and Account Management Options.

  5. Make sure your employees choose appropriate investment options by using the CRA Investment Options and Target Date Funds handouts to make their decisions.

  6. Make sure that all employees, new or old, have completed their beneficiary designation.  The beneficiary may be viewed by logging into their account at cra-online.org.
  1. Promptly submit retirement contributions to Great West Retirement Services (GWRS) by check, wire, or Automated Clearing House (ACH).

  2. If your Entity allows loans, be sure to run a Loan report PRIOR to each Payroll.

  3. In order to maximize your cash flow, be sure to run a Forfeiture Report prior to Payroll.  Forfeitures must be used promptly (at least quarterly) when available.
  1. Promptly enter termination dates into the Plan Service Center (PSC) to prevent vesting and forfeiture problems. Terminated employees cannot access their funds without this record on the system.

  2. Terminated or retired employees are always encouraged to leave their accounts with CRA and enjoy the same plan benefits as current employees.  No additional paperwork is required upon separation from service.

  3. Terminated employees with a loan balance should be advised to call CRA for advice regarding their options.

  4. For security reasons, please make sure any and all terminated Payroll or HR personnel who have access to the PSC are immediately removed from the Empower PSC as soon as they leave employment, since user names and passwords can be used from any remote location.  Call your CRA Client Services Representative and ask for a PSC Authorization form in order to add or delete authorized personnel.  A separate user login and password is required for all personnel authorized to use the PSC.
  1. If new Payroll or HR personnel are hired, CRA would be happy to go over our plans with these key employee(s) to discuss procedures applicable to the retirement plans.

  2. Establish a clear Employer and Participant service, education, counseling, and support plan with your current CRA Client Services Representative to effectively address all of your needs.

  3. Regularly utilize the Reports section of the Plan Service Center (PSC) website in order to monitor enrollments, terminations, and other statistics available to the Employer.

  4. Periodically review your Participation Agreements (PAs) in order to ensure you are complying with your own internal policies and procedures as specified within the PA.

  5. Are all of your employees receiving full education regarding their retirement plan benefits and options?  Many employers make CRA meetings mandatory and encourage individual counseling with a CRA Client Services Representative.

  6. Make sure your forms are current. Our forms are updated frequently and you can download and print the latest forms from the the Plan Service Center (PSC) which may be accessed at cra-online.org.

  7. Make sure that you comply with military leave provisions and are aware of the voluntary catch-up provisions, loan repayment, and amortization provisions.  Call us for help.
  1. Participation in the 401(a) is a mandatory condition of employment if eligibility is met, except for County elected officials.

  2. All elected officials (Commissioners, Sheriff, Assessor, County Clerk, Treasurer, Coroner, and Surveyor) are immediately eligible and 100% vested.  Their contributions must be submitted as ERB 1.

  3. GASB 68 requires certain disclosures regarding your 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan within your audit.  Please consult with your auditors for proper compliance and applicability.

All 457 plan contributions, whether employee or employer matching, are considered employee contributions and are subject to all applicable employment taxes.  Money source BEF 4 for regular (before tax) 457 contributions and money source RTH 1 for Roth (after tax) contributions.

.

CRA Coronavirus Update

As all of us experience the rapidly changing developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Retirement Association wants you to know how we’re responding to

Read More »
.

CRA plan fees for 2020

There are two primary categories of costs associated with operating any retirement plan: investment fees and administrative fees. Investment fees are generally the largest component

Read More »

Forms & Policy Documents

This section includes resources you can provide to Employee Participants. The participant can also call 800-352-0313 or email contactus@cra-online.org for further assistance.

Market Summary: August 2023

Economic Developments & Market Update & Market Update Economic Developments The S&P 500 Index declined 1.59% in August, bringing its total year-to-date (YTD) return to 18.73%. While negative for the month,

Read More »

Retirement Planner

Determine if your savings are on track for retirement. If not, estimate how much you may need to save each year to reach your goal.

Growing Your Investment

Estimate how much money you may earn from your investments over time, based on the amount of money you invest and the expected rate of return.

Withdrawals in Retirement

Understand the impact that annual withdrawals may have on your retirement account so you can estimate how many years your savings may last.

Required Minimum Distributions

Understand when you will be required to begin withdrawing from your retirement savings and how much you will need to withdraw each year.

Monthly Budget

Explore your monthly fixed and flexible expenses and identify areas for additional saving.

Paying Debt vs. Investing

Should you use your extra money to pay down debt or put into an investment? Generally, it’s advisable to invest only if the return on investment would exceed your cost of debt. Explore how your rate of return could compare to your cost of debt, taking taxes into account.

FAQ

What Can We Help You With?

Get answers to frequently asked questions.

PARTICIPANT ACCOUNT QUESTIONS:

You can easily check your balance by logging into your account.

You will see your total CRA retirement savings account balance on the account dashboard, and you can click on Account to see the specific saving amount in your 401(a) and, if applicable, 457(b) account.

On the account portal, you also can review your plan’s rate-of-return, transaction history, statements, beneficiaries, investments, loan and withdrawal history and forms to make changes to your account.

Alternatively, you can call 800.352.0313 during standard business hours to check your balance, or review your quarterly statement.

Forms for withdrawals can be accessed through your account under the Accounts tab, then Plan Forms, or by calling 800.352.0313. There are a variety of forms for different types of withdrawals, or distributions, depending on those that are allowed in your plan.

Although you never have to close your CRA account in order to continue enjoying the benefits of our services and support, you are eligible to receive a distribution from the retirement plan upon any of the following events:

  • Retirement
  • Termination of employment, at any age, for any reason
  • Death (payable to your beneficiary)

Be aware that distributions may be subject to standard income taxation and/or early withdrawal penalties. In addition to losing tax-deferred benefits by withdrawing money from your account, you will be losing out on compounding interest that otherwise would position your money to grow with you and be available when you retire.

Some employers have elected to set up a loan program through their CRA retirement plans. Please contact your employer to determine whether they offer loans through the CRA retirement plan. Loans should be reserved only for circumstances of extreme financial need.

You may leave your CRA accounts intact when you terminate employment or retire. You will continue to have the ability to manage the money in your account, access personalized retirement counseling and all CRA features and services. Leaving your CRA account active may be more cost-effective and advantageous than moving your money elsewhere when you change jobs or retire.

We charge an annual account administration fee of $28 or 0.25% of a participant’s combined account balances (whichever is greater). This administration fee is capped for accounts with a balance exceeding $400,000, combined across 401(a) and, if applicable, 457(b) accounts. 

This is the only fee we charge to cover our annual budget and is highly competitive in this industry. And there’s no hidden fees – we’re up front and transparent about our costs.

No. Mutual fund rates of return are always net of their operating expenses. With CRA’s size and purchasing power, our institutional-class funds have some of the lowest expense rates in the industry.

RETIREMENT PLAN QUESTIONS:

These plans differ in terms of participation, contributions and financial risks.

Defined contribution (DC) retirement plan – e.g., 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), etc.

A defined amount is contributed into an individual retirement account each period.

  • Participation: Differs according to IRS regulations; 401(a) plans are only available to public-sector employees and may be mandatory for eligible employees.
  • Contribution: Employees make contributions. Often employers also make contributions, which typically follow a vesting schedule for payouts. Contributions are typically tax-deferred.
  • Financial risks: The long-term earnings depend on the rate of contributions as well as the performance of selected investment funds, minus administrative fees. The employee retains full control over their retirement savings. The retirement funds are placed in the name of the employee, not the employer. The employee may withdraw earnings upon retirement or changing employers.

Defined benefit (DB) retirement plan, or “pension plan” – e.g., Colorado PERA, FPPA, etc.

Plan defines retirement or other benefit based on certain conditions and formulas. Commonly referred to as a pension.

  • Participation: Available to employees if an employer sponsors the plan, which can include public- or private-sector employees.
  • Contribution: Employers make contributions. Some plans may also require or allow contributions from employees. Contributions are typically tax-deferred and cannot exceed certain limits set by law. The employee receives payment upon fulfilling the requirements of the plan, such as completing several years of service.
  • Financial risks: DB plans place the financial risk on the employer. If inadequate investment performance or longer payouts exhaust the pension fund, an employer will still be responsible for covering funding gaps. The employee receives payment upon fulfilling the requirements of the plan, such as completing several years of service.

Deferred compensation retirement plan – e.g., 457(b) and some 401(k), 403(b) and pension plans, etc.

Agreed-upon compensation is set aside and paid at a later date.

  • Participation: Available to public- or private-sector employees depending on the plan. Can be available to select employees within an organization and not to others.
  • Contribution: Employees and/or employers may contribute to the plan. Contributions may be pre- or after-tax depending on the plan guidelines. The amount of contributions that can be set aside toward some plans, such as the 457(b), are limited by IRS regulations.
  • Financial Risks: The employee carries the risk and long-term earnings depend on the rate of contributions as well as the performance of selected investment funds, minus administrative fees.

They are very similar by design. Generally, you will only find 401(k) plans in the private sector because governmental entities are no longer eligible for 401(k) plans. Likewise, 401(a) plans are only available to public-sector employees.

The 401(k) plan often offers discretionary participation, rather than mandatory participation, and there are other differences regarding contributions, distributions, etc.

The benefits of putting all of your retirement savings in one place include:

  • Potential savings – Compare our competitive rates to the fees that your other retirement plan providers charge
  • Simplicity – Manage all of your accounts in one place
  • Clarity – Get a more complete view of your retirement income statement

All of the money invested in your CRA retirement savings account continues to grow while also being tax-deferred and sheltered from current income tax. Additionally, you can continue to access CRA’s unparalleled support and services, including flexible investment options and professional retirement counseling.

A person’s plans to spend their retirement years will vary widely based upon their age, health, ambitions and available resources to fund retirement. Besides creating a budget for retirement, you need to consider how you will use additional retirement benefits provided by the federal government, such as Social Security and Medicare.

Most people still think of 65 as the approximate age that they plan to retire, but that may mean you could be living off of retirement savings, Social Security and other retiree benefits for multiple decades.

Although retirement benefits are a significant portion of the Social Security program, benefits received from Social Security were never intended to fund a person’s entire retirement. Often, Social Security benefits represent less than half of a retired person’s income. Additionally, while some healthcare costs might be offset by Medicare, you may still be paying a monthly premium for certain services such as physician services, medical supplies and prescription drugs.

Generally, the rule of thumb for retirement savings is to accumulate enough to replace 70%-80% of your working annual income, including Social Security. Naturally, that percentage will vary depending on how comfortably you want to live. As retirement nears, it’s a good idea to calculate a more specific estimate of your retirement budget.

If you’ve got several years before you retire and are uncertain what percentage of your current income should go toward retirement savings, most experts today recommend striving toward saving 15%-20% of your income now to put toward future retirement income.

Explore retirement plans by different career stages

You may leave your CRA accounts intact when you terminate employment or retire. You will continue to have the ability to manage the money in your account, access personalized retirement counseling and all CRA features and services. Leaving your CRA account active may be more cost-effective and advantageous than moving your money elsewhere when you change jobs or retire.

You have several choices for your savings when you retire. Once you retire, you can access your money when you need it through a variety of distribution options, such as when you need it or on a periodic schedule. Be aware, however that whatever you withdraw from your account will no longer be tax-deferred or grow through compound earnings. You do not need to close your CRA account when you retire.

Many CRA employee participants choose to choose to take distributions over time to spread the tax consequence over several years. You should speak to a tax advisor to determine the best withdrawal method for you.

The voluntary 457(b) deferred compensation plan is not subject to the early withdrawal penalty, regardless of your age at the time of distribution. Remember though, a distribution from a deferred compensation plan may be subject to income tax assessment.

To withdraw a portion of your CRA plan, complete a Separation from Employment Withdrawal Request form, which can be accessed through the account portal or by calling 800.352.0313.

Additionally or alternatively, you might choose an annuity product to create a guaranteed lifetime income stream. We encourage you to speak with a range of lifetime income providers to discuss your annuity options; one you can contact is Hueler Investment Solutions at incomesolutions.com or by calling 866.297.9835.

Distribution Strategies

TAX QUESTIONS:

The amount of taxes that you will owe when you make a withdrawal will depend on your personal tax situation. 

Withdrawals from your CRA retirement accounts are considered “normal income” for that tax year. The amount of taxes that we are required to withhold from your distribution will vary depending on the type of distribution and the distribution reason. They may be subject to 20% IRS tax withholding. On top of that, distributions may be subject to 10% withdrawal penalties (on the full amount, not the 80% you actually received!) when you file taxes for anyone younger than 59½.

Consult a tax professional for tax advice and considerations.

STATEMENT QUESTIONS:

Participant account statements are issued quarterly, either by email or mail. If you have not received your quarterly statement, or if you would like to update your communication preferences, log into the account portal and click on your name. You also may call 800.352.0313.

“Future contribution allocation” refers to the investment of contributions not yet received. This section shows what percentage of each future (new) contribution will be invested in each option.

“Current investment allocation” refers to the allocation of the money already invested in your account. The figures show how much of your total account value was invested in each option on the last day of the statement report period.

INVESTMENT QUESTIONS:

Investments can be viewed and managed through your account portal. Click on the Account tab to view your investments, investment lineup and individual fund performance, values, trends and research, in addition to being able change your investments.

The changes you can make with your investments include:

  • Rebalancing – A common investment strategy that takes advantage of market growth to re-invest your gains
  • Change how future contributions will be invested (AKA change your allocation) – Change investments for your new contributions, without changing where your existing balance is invested
  • Change how your current balance will be invested (AKA fund-to-fund transfer) – Change how your existing balance is invested, without changing where your new contributions are invested 
  • Dollar-cost averaging – A common investment strategy that allows an investor to build retirement savings while reducing the impact of volatility

Changes can be made daily, as often as the New York Stock Exchange is open. CRA maintains a daily valuation record-keeping system that provides for daily investment transactions.

How to Run Most Popular Reports

You can follow the steps below to run the most popular reports:

Login to your PSC account
On the left navigation menu, choose Reports > Standard Reports
You will see several tabs (categories) of plan reports. The tab “Most Frequently Used” tab contains the most popular reports used by plan sponsors

Read More »

How to Read Your Quarterly Account Statement

It’s important to become familiar with your quarterly statement and how it pertains to your retirement account activity. A better understanding of your account activity may help you take a more active role in achieving your financial goals for a comfortable retirement.

Read More »

How to Enter Termination Dates for Plan Participants

Login to your PSC account
Enter the participant’s Social Security number into the search field.

Click on the Employee Detail tab.

Under Employment Information, click on Edit.

Input the employee’s term date in the Term Date field. All other fields should remain unchanged.

Click Save.

Read More »

How to Enroll in Paperless Statements

To update your preferences and enroll in paperless statements, log into the account portal, click on your name and update your communication preferences.

There are several benefits of going paperless:

Read More »

How To Access Your Online Account

Follow the four steps to access your online account: Click the Employee Login button on cra-online.org;
Click Login Help to create an account;
Enter the verification code sent to your device;
You’re in!

Read More »

How to Access the PSC

To request a Plan Service Center, or PSC, account:
1. Submit a Client Contact Change Form and submit it to your CRA client services manager
2. The plan sponsor must designate the level of PSC access for the user
3. The identified users will receive an email notification when their PSC authorization request has been completed. They also will begin receiving important employer member information, updates and resources
4. Follow the email instructions to create a login and access the PSC

Read More »

What is the Contact Information for issues with the PSC?

techsupport@retirementpartner.com
800-695-4952
If this information changes, you can find updated contact information by logging into your PSC account and navigating to the ‘Contacts’ link on the left menu.

How do I log into the plan sponsor website?

  1. Visit the Login Page
  2. Enter your username and password and click the Sign In button
  3. You will be sent a verification code via email or text to complete the login process.

If you experience problems logging in the first time, contact Client Services. (Under Contact Information)

How do I change my username?

  1. The assigned username was established when your website was create and cannot be changed; however you can create a registered username during the account setup process.
  2. If you do not choose to create a registered username upon account setup, you may do so anytime you visit the website.
  3. Simply click the My profile link located at the top of the webpage and select the Change Username option.
  4. You will be directed to choose a registered username that may be easier for you to remember.
  5. Click Update to complete this process.

Please note: registered usernames are case sensitive and assigned usernames are not.

How do I change my password?

  1. Passwords can be changed any time after logging in to the website via the My profile link located at the top of the webpage.
  2. Select the Change Password option and follow the prompts.

How many characters must my password contain?

Passwords must be between eight and 64 characters in length and contain at least three of the following character sets: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and/or special characters (! @ # $ (){}[].-_).

I forgot my password. How can I get help?

  1. Click on the Login Help link and follow the prompts.
  2. You will be sent a unique verification code via email or text which will allow you to create a new password.
  3. If you are a new user, you will be sent an email with a password to use the first time you login. After initial login, you can change your password as you set up your account.

I’ve exceeded the maximum number of login attempts. Can I still log in?

Yes. If you successfully logged in to the website in the past, you can log in by setting up a new password via the Login Help link and the process described above.

If you are a new user, please call Client Services (Under Contact Information) to have your password reset.

I never received a password. What should I do?

Passwords are sent in a separate email from the email you received with your username. If this secondary email was not received, please call Client Services (Under Contact Information).

How do I change my email address?

To change your email address, log in to the website and click the My profile link located at the top of our webpage. Select the Email Address option and follow the prompts.

Can I transfer my username to a different user?

For security purposes, usernames are not allowed to be transferred from one person to another. Each username belongs to one specific person. To request a new username, please call Client Services (under the Contact Information).

Where are forms and documents?

  1. General and plan documents are located within the Fiduciary Center menu.
  2. Employee forms are located within the Participants menu.

How can I change our bank account information?

Users with appropriate access can view, add and update ACH information on our website within the Administration menu.

END EMPLOYER PAGE
BEGIN ABOUT PAGE

Discover Why Government Employers & employees Trust CRA

CRA is more than a Plan Administrator,
We’re your Retirement Partner.

Saving for retirement remains the number one area where employees want help from their employers.

-Willis Tower Watson, 2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

CRA is here to provide that guidance

Schedule a Retirement Review

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about CRA!

Created by the State of Colorado in 1968 to provide retirement plans exclusively to employees of Colorado’s local governments, CRA is a member-run association that is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Board members are elected by CRA employee participants, county commissioners, and municipal and political subdivision employers to oversee CRA’s strategic planning, operational direction and investment fund lineup.

CRA’s mission is to provide superior retirement services to foster an
enhanced quality of life through education, partnership and excellence of service.

Member employers form a CRA network that entitle employee participants to maintain their CRA account without losing vesting status when they move from one CRA member employer to another, provided the break in service is less than 30 days. This unique feature enables current employee participants to avoid having to start over in a vesting schedule – which typically is structured to restrict the amount of employer contributions an employee is fully entitled to until they meet certain requirements, such as years of service – when they start a new job with another CRA member employer.

PERSONAL TOUCH IS A PRIORITY

One-on-One, Individual Retirement Counseling

What are you saving for?
A second home?
Travel around the world?

Our certified retirement counselors are dedicated to helping you reach your retirement goals. We offer one-on-one counseling meetings to answer questions about your retirement accounts and provide resources for smart financial management.

We’re not just Colorado-based, we’re Colorado-only. We are committed to providing service and support that Colorado residents deserve and expect.

BEST-IN-CLASS INVESTMENT OPTIONS

Auto-Piloting vs. Mastering Your Own

Finding the right balance between risk and investment return is key to a successful retirement savings strategy. With the help of Innovest Portfolio Solutions, a Denver-based registered investment advisor, CRA offers best-in-class investment options for your 401(a) and 457(b) retirement plans:

These are intelligent portfolios created by investment professionals, with oversight from CRA’s Board of Directors, to maximize savings whether an investor is early in their career, in the middle stages or approaching retirement.

Managed by Galliard, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, our stable value fund pays a specified rate of return over your entire retirement timeline. It helps you preserve your capital, as the level of risk is relatively small, while delivering stable rates of return that lead to a healthy retirement fund in the end.

CRA offers a wide variety of equity (stock) and fixed investments to choose from, all of which are available at institutional rates.

For access to funds beyond CRA’s comprehensive portfolio, employee participants can open a Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Competitive Fees

No Surprises

As a not-for-profit organization, CRA’s focus is on helping our members save and invest for the future. This is reflected in low-cost fiduciary services. Plan participants enjoy minimal administration fees for comprehensive plan management services. And you don’t have to worry about hidden fees – we’re fully up-front and transparent about our costs.

A LIFETIME PARTNER

For Both Employees and Employers

Even after employees move on or retire from CRA-participating employers, they can maintain their CRA (previously known as CCOERA) plans with us. This means you can enjoy our low administrative fees, personal touch and excellent services regardless where you are working and even through your retirement years.

Member employers love us because we manage all of the administrative, due diligence and financial responsibilities for them. As an end-to-end solution to employers, we help you reduce the risks, time and resources of fiduciary liability so you can drive your organization forward.

GOVERNED BY PARTICIPANTS,
FOR PARTICIPANTS

Our Board of Directors is elected by plan participants, county commissioners and municipal and political subdivision employers. They have a personal stake in the quality of our services and are inherently interested in ensuring the association delivers the best possible plans at the lowest possible cost.

Passionately Invested in YOU

Our legacy since 1968 has never wavered in helping plan participants build their own legacy. Reward yourself by becoming a CRA member and start making retirement dreams a reality.

Find Out Whether Your Financials Are On Track​

END ABOUT PAGE
BEGIN ABOUT TEAM PAGE

END ABOUT PAGE
BEGIN ABOUT TEAM PAGE

END ABOUT TEAM PAGE
BEGIN ABOUT BOARD PAGE

END ABOUT BOARD PAGE
BEGIN ABOUT INVESTMENTS PAGE

END ABOUT INVESTMENTS PAGE
BEGIN CAREERS PAGE

Executive Leadership

Tim Mullen, CPA

Executive Director

303.713.9400 x6507 | tmullen@cra-online.org

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Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Doug Farmen, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

303.713.9400 x6501 | dfarmen@cra-online.org

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Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Mike Whalen

Retirement Plan Services Director

720.493.6503 | mwhalen@cra-online.org

Short Biography: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Client Services

Francisco Chacon, CRC

Regional Client Services Manager

720.493.6518 | fchacon@cra-online.org

Short Biography: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Matt Benitez, CRC

Regional Client Services Manager

970.964.7809 | mbenitez@cra-online.org

Short Biography: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Rick Chase, CRC

Regional Client Services Manager

720.493.6506 | rchase@cra-online.org

Short Biography: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Klint Armitstead, CRC

Regional Client Services Manager

720.493.6502 | karmitstead@cra-online.org

Short Biography: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Ian Vander Male, CRC

Regional Client Services Manager

720.493.6504 | ivandermale@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Administrative  Support

Ann Cassidy

Operations Analyst

720.493.6510 | acassidy@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Stacie DeBell

Operations Analyst

720.493.6508 | sdebell@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lois Kruse

Office Administrator

720.493.6500 | lkruse@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lisa Lewallen

Accountant

720.493.6511 | llewallen@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Matt Evans

Retirement Services Coordinator

720.493.6513 | mevans@cra-online.org

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dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

CRA Board Meetings

Our seven-member board of directors is composed of Colorado residents who are elected by participants, county commissioners, and municipal and political subdivision employers. The Board oversees the operation of our association.

The Colorado Retirement Association Board of Directors has full and complete control and management of the CRA retirement plan. They are allowed by state statute to make all necessary rules and regulations for managing and discharging its duties, for its own government and procedure in so doing, and for the preservation and protection of any funds.

The CRA chairman and vice-chairman are elected by a majority vote of the board members, at the meeting subsequent to the first quarter for a one-year term. It is currently the policy of the Board of Directors that the vice-chairman automatically becomes the chairman in the year following their election as vice-chairman.

The retirement plan adopted by the board provides for a director, who is hired by the board and is referred to as “Executive Director.” Also, the Board reviews operational expenditures at each board meeting, in addition to reviewing the annual audit and considering the admission of and vote on new participating entities.

The Board has regular meetings at least once per quarter – currently it meets most months and holds special meetings as necessary.

2021 CRA Board Meetings

Unless noted otherwise, meetings are held at the CRA offices in Littleton, Colorado, beginning at 9 a.m. 

Board meeting minutes are approved at the subsequent board meeting and posted to the CRA website shortly thereafter.

DateMeeting Minutes
February 19
March 19
April 16
May 21
June 18
NEXT MEETING
AUGUST 20
CLICK HERE FOR THE AGENDA
September 17
October 22
December 17

CRA Board Members

Chris Felton Headshot
Term: 7/1/18 - 6/30/22

Chris Felton

Board Chair

Chris is a Sergeant with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office. He is one of the Board's two County Employee Members and was elected to represent CRA County employee members on the Eastern Slope. Chris was elected as Board Chair by other members of CRA's Board of Directors.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Chris
Paul Danley Headshot
Term: 7/1/18 - 6/30/22

Paul Danley

Vice Chair

Paul is the Executive Director at Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority. He is one of the Board's two members elected to represent municipalities and political subdivisions. Paul was elected as Board Vice Chair by other members of CRA's Board of Directors. He will take Chris's place as the Board Chair at the August 20, 2021 board meeting.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Paul
Darius Allen Headshot
Term: 8/7/19 - 6/30/22 (Completing a former board member's term)

Darius Allen

Board Member

Darius is a former County Commissioner for Alamosa County. He is one of the Board's two registered electors chosen by the Board(s) of County Commissioners who are CRA Members. Darius was selected for his personnel and corporate administration experience.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Darius
Tobe Allumbaugh Headshot
Term: 7/1/20 - 6/30/24

T.E. (Tobe) Allumbaugh

Board Member

Tobe is a former County Commissioner for Crowley County. He is one of the Board's two registered electors chosen by the Board(s) of County Commissioners who are CRA Members. Tobe was selected for his investment experience.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Darius
Jerry DiTullio Headshot
Term: 1/1/19 - 12/31/22

Gerald (Jerry) DiTullio

Treasurer

Jerry is the Treasurer/Public Trustee for Jefferson County. As the Treasurer for the most populous member county, he was appointed to the CRA Board to serve as our Treasurer as well.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Jerry
Adam Ford headshot
Term: 7/1/20 - 6/30/24

Dr. Adam Ford

Board Member

Adam is Senior Administrator II at the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. He is one of the Board's two County Employee Members and was elected to represent CRA County employee members on the Western Slope.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Adam
Terri Schafer Headshot
Term: 3/18/21 - 6/30/24

Terri Schafer

Board Member

Terri is the Finance Director at Mile High Flood District. She is one of the Board's two members elected to represent municipalities and political subdivisions.

Representation Matters

The duty of the CRA Board of Directors is to represent our members. If you have a concern that you would like discussed at the next Board Meeting, let us know.
Contact Terri

Forms and additional plan-specific documents can be found on the Plan Service Center.

To download these documents, please log in to your account.

CRA Documents

CRA is more than your your Plan Administrator,

We’re your Retirement Partner.

In addition to offering sound investment options and low fees to maximize your investments, CRA provides retirement planning education and tools.

This page includes investment, budgeting, and social education to help you achieve your dream retirement, no matter where you are in your career. Of course, you’re always welcome to call us for more personalized counseling.

Retirement Strategy

How-Tos

Participant How-Tos

Employer How-Tos

Accessing your account portal is fast and easy!

It takes just four steps:

  1. Click the Employee Account button on cra-online.org
  2. Click Login Help to create an account
  3. Enter the verification code sent to your device
  4. You’re in!

To update your preferences and enroll in paperless statements, log into the account portal, click on your name and update your communication preferences.

There are several benefits of going paperless:

  • Electronic statements are available sooner than printed versions
  • Account information is accessible electronically through the secure account portal
  • Receive important communication and updates about your plan by email
  • Less wasted paper is much more environmentally friendly

The best source for employer forms and plan documents is the Plan Service Center (PSC). The video below show the process of accessing and downloading documents.

  1. Login to your PSC account
  2. Enter the participant’s Social Security number into the search field.
  3. Click on the Employee Detail tab.
  4. Under Employment Information, click on Edit.
  5. Input the employee’s term date in the Term Date field. All other fields should remain unchanged.
  6. Click Save.

You can follow the steps below to run the most popular reports:
  1. Login to your PSC account
  2. On the left navigation menu, choose Reports > Standard Reports
  3. You will see several tabs (categories) of plan reports. The tab “Most Frequently Used” tab contains the most popular reports used by plan sponsors
  4. Click the name of the report that you want to generate, and follow steps to enter details of the report.
  5. Click “Generate” to create your report
  6. If you selected to receive notification, you will receive an email when the report is ready
  7. To view your reports, go to the left navigation menu, click Reports > My reports

There are Two Ways to Submit Payroll:

Option 1 – Enter payroll manually

  1. Login to your PSC account
  2. On the left navigation menu, choose Payroll > Enter payroll
  3. Follow the steps to Enter Payroll Information, Select Your Money Sources, Update Your Employee and Contribution Information, and Process and Confirm Your Contributions

Option 2 – Upload payroll file

  1. Login to your PSC account
  2. On the left navigation menu, choose Payroll > Upload payroll file
  3. Click “Browse” to select a file, click “Open” and then “Upload File”
  4. Wait until the file is successfully loaded
  5. On the left panel, under Payroll, select “Process payroll file”
  6. Follow the steps to Remit Info, Remit Details, and Confirmation. Note: you will be asked to select the file that you just uploaded in Step 2 Remit Details.



Investment Learning Center