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Pension Funds

Bill bolstering New Mexico educational fund advances

A bill backed by the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, Santa Fe, that would increase employer contributions among other things is expected to be on the docket when the state Legislature convenes Jan. 15.

The legislation is expected to be pre-filed as early as Dec. 17, said Jan Goodwin, executive director for the $13.1 billion pension plan in an email.

The proposal also would transfer $248.3 million from the state's general account to the pension plan to satisfy the terms of a lawsuit settlement. It also would raise the minimum retirement age for covered employees to 58 from 55.

The New Mexico Legislature's pension oversight and investment committee endorsed the pension plan's legislative proposal on Monday. Minority Leader Sen. Stewart Ingle, a Republican, is sponsoring the bill; Sen. Jacob Candelaria, a Democrat, agreed to be a co-sponsor, Ms. Goodwin said.

"The bill is very important to ensure ERB's sustainability," Ms. Goodwin said. "Although ERB is solvent and is on the path to 100% funding, our funding period with our June 30, actuarial valuation is 70 years on an open group basis."