ERB Defined Benefit Plan
What is the ERB Defined Benefit Plan?
The Educational Retirement Board (ERB) is a defined benefit plan. The benefit received upon
retirement is defined by a prescribed formula based on years of service and an employee's age
that may only be altered by the New Mexico State Legislature.
Questions about any of the following can be addressed to:
Educational Retirement Board
P.O. Box 26129
Santa Fe, NM 87502-6129
(505) 827-8030 in Santa Fe or (505) 888-1560 in Albuquerque
Additional information can be found at the NMERB website
Who is eligible to participate?
All employees at UNM (excluding student employees, resident physicians, and post-doctoral employees) with an appointment of 26% or more are eligible to participate.
As you review ERB job requirements, please note that ERB policy language uses FTE and the UNM system of record uses appointment percentage. Example: An appointment of 26% with UNM is equal .26 FTE.
Are you a Temporary or On-Call employee?
Effective July 1, 2016, employees hired in On-Call or Temporary positions who are working an appointment of 26% or more per quarter, will be eligible to earn retirement service credits and thus are required to make ERB contributions. Additionally, as the employer, UNM will be required to contribute the Employer Rate for each of these employees. See our NMERB Guidelines Clarification webpage for more information.
Features of the Plan
- Participation in the retirement program is a condition of employment.
- You become eligible to retire when you accumulate enough service credits to qualify for retirement based
on the Education Retirement Board rules of eligibility.
- You can use outside (allowed) service at qualifying institutions or military service to help you qualify to retire under this plan.
Please contact the ERB directly for details and how to apply service to your retirement.
- Service Credits are accumulated on a fiscal year, quarterly basis.
- Your retirement benefit upon retirement is a lifetime annuity and has options for survivor benefits.
How to Enroll
Your enrollment in this plan is automatic. No action on your part is needed.
How much you contribute to the plan?
The employer's (UNM) contribution for employees with an annual wage over $20,000 (equivalent to appointment of 100%) is 13.9% of gross earnings, and the employee's tax-deferred contribution is 10.7% of gross earnings. For employees with an annual wage of $20,000 (equivalent to appointment of 100%) or less, employer contributions are 13.9% of gross earnings, and the employee's tax-deferred contribution is 7.9% of gross earnings. Rates are subject to change by the New Mexico Legislature.
When can I retire under this plan?
In order to receive an ERB retirement, you must meet one of the following criteria:
If you were hired before July 1, 2010:
If you were hired after July 1, 2010:
- Rule of 75: When your age plus the number of years of earned service credit equals 75
- Age 65 if you have a minimum of five years of earned credit
- 25 years of earned credit, or a combination of 25 years of earned and allowed service credit
- Rule of 80: When your age plus the number of years of earned service credit equals 80
- Age 67 if you have a minimum of five years of earned credit
- 30 years of earned credit, or a combination of 30 years of earned and allowed service credit
How is my retirement benefit calculated?
The annual benefit is equal to 2.35% of the average of the five (5) highest consecutive years of salary multiplied by the number of years of service (earned and allowed credit).
Benefit may be reduced by election of an option that guarantees continuous income to a surviving beneficiary.
The benefit may also be reduced if the member has less than 25 years of service and is less than 60 years of age.
If I do not retire from UNM, what happens to my ERB contributions?
Employees who separate from UNM (in a capacity other than retiring from UNM) have three options for their retirement money. Details on these options, along with instructions on how to withdraw your funds, can be found on the Payroll website under the question “When I separate from the University, how do I withdraw my funds?”
In order to retire under the ERB retirement program, you must first verify that you are eligible to retire under the provisions of the plan. To verify your eligibility, contact the Education Retirement Board at 505.888.1560 to request an eligibility date and an estimate of your ERB pension benefit. Once you have confirmed your eligibility, select a retirement date* and follow the instructions below.
*Retirement date must always be the first of any month.
Faculty on a 9-month academic contract must select a January 1 or July 1 retirement date per New Mexico statute. Faculty on a 12-month contract may retire on the first of any given month of the year.
In addition, an employee may be eligible for UNM benefits into retirement if they meet the criteria of Policy 3600, Section 3.3.
Note: All employees who participate in the ERB retirement program must coordinate their retirement with the UNM Retiree Services. Participants should start the application process no later than 90 days prior to your intended retirement date. All ERB applications must be certified in Section II of the ERB application by a Retiree Services representative.
1. Notify Your Department
Notify your department, in writing, of your intention to retire and your last scheduled day of employment with UNM. It is advised that you give your department as much notice as possible to ensure a smooth transition into retirement, generally no less than 30 days ahead of your intended retirement date. UNM Faculty who are on a nine month academic contract are generally required to give at least a semester's notice to their department.
2. Download and Complete the Retirement Forms
Download the following forms:
Remember to download and complete both pages of the ERB Application, and attach applicable Verification of Birth documents (copies of birth certificates, passports, etc.) to the application. If you plan to keep UNM benefits into retirement, complete one of the above UNM Benefit Election forms (based on your age at retirement) and submit all documents to UNM Retirement Services Division (located in the HR Service Center). This should be done no later than 90 days ahead of your scheduled retirement date.
(Optional) Register for Retirement Classes through Learning Central.
The Retirement Overview Modules are also available online: Register for optional retirement-related classes through Learning Central or call Employee and Organizational Development (EOD) at 505-277-1555 to register. The Retirement Overview Modules are also available online. For more information, visit the Retirement Classes webpage.
Employees within four to six months of retirement can bring completed retirement paperwork to the “I Want to Retire Now” class for review prior to submitting paperwork to Human Resources.