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Campus News
     
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
February 14, 2005
Volume 40, Number 7

Steps taken to address ailing retirement plan


By Susan Carkeek

A number of questions are being asked about the Educational Retirement Plan as a result of an article that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal and a letter sent by Bruce Malott, chair of the Educational Retirement Board (ERB). The Jan. 18 article in the Journal stated that New Mexico lawmakers were considering a number of recommendations “aimed at shoring up the state’s pension fund for 90,000 public education employees and retirees.”

Current employees should take some comfort in knowing that the retirement fund is secure for the short-term, which translates to approximately 25 years. However projections tell us that in order to remain stable for the long-term, steps must be taken to address the underfunding of ERA.

Several bills have already been introduced in the Legislature to attempt to provide solutions.

The governor has also appointed a “30-day task force” to study these issues and legislation is expected from that process as well. You will most likely hear about a number of these bills throughout the Legislative session and they will certainly be discussed in the media. Employees should be relieved to know that bills introduced to date proposing changes to the retirement eligibility criteria (i.e. Rule of 75) do not affect current employees, but rather would affect new employees hired after July 1, 2005.

The Department of Human Resources has created a list of FAQs, which are located on our Web site at http://www.unm.edu/~hr/whatsnew/.

We will continue to monitor this issue throughout the Legislative session and keep you informed of developments.