Wayne Propst, executive director of the $16.5 billion New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, Santa Fe, will be leaving on Feb. 12 to join the staff of New Mexico state Sen. George K. Munoz, Mr. Propst said in an email.
Mr. Propst will be staff director for Mr. Munoz, who is the new chairman of the New Mexico Senate Finance Committee.
"Wayne has led PERA through some of the most difficult challenges the association has faced in its 74-year history and has done so with integrity, vision and compassion," said John Melia, chairman of New Mexico PERA's board of trustees, in a written statement.
In 2020, the New Mexico Legislature passed pension reform legislation that, among other things, provide for automatic increases and decreases of employer and employee contributions based on the $15.6 billion pension plan's funded status. Employees with annual salaries of $25,000 or less are excluded from the automatic increases.
The law also limits the cost-of-living pension increases in fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023 to 2% of total annual pension payments. After that, employee cost-of-living increases will be based on the pension plan's funding ratio.
Mr. Propst credits the reforms with reducing New Mexico PERA's unfunded liability by almost $800 million in the past fiscal year.
The PERA Board will begin discussions on finding a replacement at its Jan. 28 meeting.