State wants insurance company to cut severance

Colorado wants top executives at the state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance fund to waive big severance payments if the quasi-state agency is privatized.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Pinnacol Assurance are negotiating over a proposal to privatize the insurer. Past efforts to strike a deal have failed in disputes over the company’s value.

The proposed deal calls for turning the insurer into a private mutual-assurance company, owned by its policyholders.

In exchange, the state would receive a 40 percent ownership stake in the new company.