In April, UNM announced the following changes to the Education Retirement Act (ERA), per Senate Bill 111.
The following three Return-to-Work Options for NMERB Retirees that will not require suspension of the ERB pension went into effect May 20:
- NMERB Retiree Return-to-Work Program (RTW): A 12 consecutive month layout period is required for NMERB employees who retired after January 1, 2001. The RTW employee and employer pay nonrefundable contributions to the ERB pension.
- NMERB Retiree working .25 FTE or less: No layout is required. No ERB pension contributions are required by employee or employer. If the employee is working for other NMERB employers, the FTE will be combined with the FTE of all other employers. The resulting FTE must not exceed .25 FTE for any month of the fiscal year.
- NMERB Retiree earning less than $15,000: This option is newly available and requires a 90 consecutive day layout period from NMERB employment as of the employee’s retirement date. Retiree may not have a formal or informal agreement to return to work with an NMERB employer or any contractor providing services to an NMERB employer prior to and within 90 days after retiring. No ERB pension contributions are required by employee or employer.
If the employee is working for other NMERB employers, the gross earnings will be combined with the gross earnings of all other employers. The resulting gross earnings must be less than $15,000 for the fiscal year. A 90-day layout, a new application, and NMERB approval is required, including for retirees who wish to switch from .25 FTE and move to less than $15,000 per year earnings.
For all options, submitting the NMERB Return-to-Work Application and obtaining NMERB approval is required. If return to work is approved by NMERB, the retiree will receive a copy of the approval by mail and must submit a copy to UNM.
Retirees currently approved by NMERB to work as RTW or up to .25 FTE who wish to continue under their current option do not need to take any action.
For more details about SB 111 and these changes, see the UNM Retiree Return-to-Work Checklist or email Member.Help@state.nm.us, or call 1.866.691.2345.