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Frequently Asked Questions About Retirement

When can I retire?

All retirement calculations are completed by the Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERA).  Employees will need to contact PERA to find out the retirement eligibility date.

What is vesting?

Vesting means you are guaranteed a pension benefit when you meet the age and service requirements for normal retirement.

  • For employees who were hired on or before June 30, 2013;
    • Tier I: Vested after earning five years of PERA Service credit
  • For employees who were hired after June 30, 2013;
    • Tier II: Non-Public Safety employees are vested after earning five years of PERA service credit.
    • Tier II: Public Safety employees are vested after earning five years of PERA service credit.

What is the maximum pension amount I can receive?

  • Tier I: Employees can receive a maximum pension amount of 90% of the final average salary.
  • Tier II: Employees can receive a maximum pension amount of 90% of the final average salary.  

When can I go into Early Retirement?

To qualify for Early Retirement, an employee must meet the following requirements:

  • The employee must have enough sick and/or vacation leave balances to equal more than two pay periods.
  • Employees can only enter into Early Retirement at the beginning of a pay period.

How can I find out how much time I will have to use for Early Retirement?

Employees can download the Early Retirement Calculation Worksheet. The worksheet is designed to provide the amount of pay periods an employee has for Early Retirement purposes, based on sick and vacation leave balances.

What happens to my benefits when I retire?

All benefits will end at midnight the day before the retirement date.  Employees are encouraged to contact New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority (30 days prior to retirement) to enroll in benefits at a discounted rate (based on the amount of service credit years they have).   

How do I change my PERA beneficiary information?

You may designate only one person or one organization as a refund beneficiary an only one person as a survivor beneficiary.  The refund and survivor beneficiary can be the same person.  If you are married, your spouse must give his or her consent if you choose someone other than your spouse to receive the benefit.  In that instance, your spouse must sign a Beneficiary Spousal Consent form before a Notary Public.  All member forms can be found on the designated PERA website

How do I change the beneficiary on my Retiree Life Insurance policy?

Retirees who are interested in changing the beneficiary on their Retiree Life Insurance policy can contact the Insurance & Benefits Division and request a Retiree Life Insurance Notification & Beneficiary Designation form be sent to them via mail or email.  Employees can also download the form here.

How much is my Retiree Life Insurance benefit?

The Retiree Life Insurance benefit is 50% of the coverage amount of the Basic Life Insurance coverage, at the time of retirement.  For specific information contact the Insurance & Benefits Division.