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Changes to Retirement Programs

CNM employees should be aware that there will be changes to the retirement programs offered through the New Mexico Retiree Healthcare Authority (NMRHCA) and the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board (NMERB) as a result of rule changes and legislative changes. Below is a summary of those changes and when they will take effect. Details will be added to this page as they are shared by the respective agencies.

NMERB

Effective July 1, 2019

Changes that impact new (incoming) members to NMERB who begin contributions on or after July 1, 2019.

  • New members will have a tiered multiplier to calculate their final annual benefit upon retirement.
    • Years 0–10 will use 1.35%
    • Years 10.25–20 will use 2.35%
    • Years 20.25–30 will use 3.35%
    • Years 30.25 – will use 2.4%
    • Retirement benefits are calculated as follows: Years of Contributory Service with NMERB x Final Average Salary x the multiplier. The current multiplier is 2.35%. The new multipliers will be as follows:
  • New members will have a Tier 4 eligibility that mimics Tier 3 except there will now be a minimum retirement age of 58 for the rule of 30. Under age 58 takes an actuarial, permanent, reduction in benefits. Tier 4 members will also use the tiered multipliers stated above.

Changes that impact current and new members of NMERB.

  • Employer contribution will increase from 13.9% to 14.15%. For Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) participants, this increase of .25% in employer contributions will be going directly to the ERB fund.
  • Employees who earn $24,000 or less annually will contribute 7.9% (instead of 10.7%). The previous salary limit was $20,000 to contribute the lower amount.

Changes effective May 20, 2020

Changes that impact current and future retirees under NMERB.

  • Return To Work changes
    • There will not be any changes to the Return to Work Program. This program allows retirees to return to work at an NMERB employer while collecting their monthly retirement benefit, provided the retiree has a layout for 12 consecutive months after retirement. While working, retirees are required to contribute to the NMERB without refund or earning additional service credit.
    • There are currently two exception rules that allow retirees to return to work without the 12 month layout period. Both exceptions require approval from the NMERB before the retiree may return to work for an NMERB employer.
      • $15,000 exception rule has be re-established. This exception allowed retirees to come back to work at an NMERB employer with a 90-day layout period but be limited in their fiscal year gross earnings to $15,000.
      • .25 FTE exception remains in place. This exception rule allows retirees to come back to work at an NMERB employer without a layout period but limits their workload to 25% of a full time employee. For employees paid on an hourly basis, this is equivalent to a maximum of 10 hours per week. Part-time instructor full-time equivalency (FTE) is determined by a formula based on class workload. Part-time instructors wishing to confirm the FTE that is reported to the NMERB based on their class assignments should contact Jesse Lovato in Human Resources.

Changes that may impact current employees.

  • All PERA retirees who work for ERB employers will no longer have to contribute the employee portion to the NMERB retirement.. Contributions made by PERA retirees to the NMERB between July 1, 2019 and May 20, 2020 may request a refund from the NMERB once they no longer work for the NMERB employer.

Effective July 1, 2020

  • Employees eligible for retirement may request to purchase up to one year of service credit depending on their balance of unused sick leave. If doing so, the sick leave cannot be used or paid out. The cost will be calculated as the actuarial present value of the conversion. The process and calculation for the cost to convert the sick leave is still pending with the NMERB.

NMRHCA

Effective July 31, 2021

  • All new retirees (those who retire as of January 1, 2021 or after) will receive the maximum subsidy with 25 years or more of contributory service (instead of 20). Anyone who retires prior to the effective date are grandfathered in with the maximum subsidy at 20 years or more.
  • Minimum retirement age of 55: Retirees who retire before the age of 55 will be required to pay the full cost of health coverage. Once age 55 is attained, and the retiree has at least 5 years of contributory service, they will qualify for the health care subsidized cost.