Your Retirement Options as an Employee of St. Vrain Valley Schools

There are a variety of factors and options that affect your retirement as an employee of St. Vrain Valley Schools:

  • Colorado PERA Defined Benefit Plan
    • You have a required 8% PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association) pre-tax contribution that is deducted from your paycheck automatically.  Regardless of what happens with your future employment, you will always own 100% of this money.
      • If you eventually retire through PERA, you’ll get your contributions (and more) back as a part of your ongoing retirement payments.  When you reach retirement age, you are entitled to collect these retirement payments from PERA as long as you worked at least five years under PERA-covered employment.
      • If you separate from PERA-covered employment before you retire, you can request from PERA that this money be paid out to you, if desired (though you might receive more benefit by leaving it in — talk to PERA about your options).
      • The District also contributes an amount equivalent to more than 17% 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.
  • Colorado PERAPlus Defined Contribution Plans
    • Employees are encouraged to save additional amounts in order to supplement their PERA Defined Benefit retirement income.
    • SVVSD participates in two optional retirement savings plans offered by PERA: The PERAPlus 401(k) retirement savings plan, and the PERAPlus 457(b) retirement savings plan.
    • Both plans are pre-tax, meaning you are not taxed on the amounts you contribute to these plans until you withdraw them later.
    • You may sign up for either or both of these plans simultaneously.
    • To understand the differences between these plans, please see the PERAPlus 401(k) vs. 457(b) Comparison Chart.
    • Once you sign up, the District will deduct your desired pre-tax amount from your check and remit it to your PERAPlus account for you.
    • Your retirement savings account will grow from your contributions and investment earnings and will be available for you in retirement.
  • Legacy 403(b) and 457 Retirement Plans (frozen as of July 1, 2013)
    • The District maintains a legacy 403(b) and 457 plan for participants who were actively contributing to their retirement accounts under either of these plans as of June 30, 2013.
    • No new participants, providers, contracts, or salary reduction agreements may be added under these plans.
    • Participants contributing to one of the five approved providers as of June 30, 2013 may continue to do so.
    • Contribution amounts may be increased, decreased, or stopped.
    • Once stopped, contributions under these plans may not be resumed.
    • Amounts held under one of these retirement plans may not be rolled over unless a qualifying event occurs.

For more information about the PERAPlus plans, please visit

To review the Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the FAQ page.

For more information on the legacy plan freeze, please visit the Plan Revision Information page.

For general information about PERA, please visit

For general information on St. Vrain Valley Schools optional retirement plans, please visit