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Pension Funds

New Mexico governor wants task force to look at changes to state pension fund

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham created a 19-member Solvency Task Force to investigate potential changes to contributions and benefits in the $15.5 billion New Mexico Public Employees' Retirement Association, Santa Fe, to enable the pension fund to meet current and future obligations.

The task force will make recommendations on actions "that will both prevent the need for more significant changes in the future and address the liabilities associated with the state's pension plans" no later than Aug. 30, with the intention of presenting them to the legislature in 2020, according to a news release Monday from Ms. Grisham's office. Members of the task force include PERA's Wayne Propst, executive director; Dominic Garcia, chief investment officer; and Jacquelin Kohlasch, board chairwoman; and representatives from public employee professional associations and unions.

As of June 30, 2017, the most recent data available, PERA's actuarial assets totaled $15.12 billion, while actuarial liabilities totaled $20.2 billion, for a funding ratio of 74.9%.

"We certainly appreciate and are grateful for the governor for being willing to take a leadership role on the challenges we face at New Mexico PERA," Mr. Propst said in a telephone interview. "We think it's going to help the board and help the state put together some measured and reasonable recommendations for the next legislative session to deal with our unfunded liability."